UseIt.com Publishes Results of Web Usability Study of Children
On UseIt.com, Jakob Nielsen published the results of a web usability study that used children as the subjects. The test included "55 children who varied in age from 6 to 12 (first through fifth graders).... 39 kids in the United States and 16 in Israel, to broaden the international applicability of our recommendations."
Surprisingly, Nielsen found that children used grownup-oriented sites like Amazon.com and Yahoo! more productively than many children's sites. Children seemed to have difficulty with children's web sites because many of them "had complex and convoluted interaction designs that stumped our test users."
The study also suggests that the notion that children can easily comprehend the complexity of any computer systems is a myth. Children apparently get just as frustrated with confusing user interfaces as adults do. But, their perception of the meaning of user interface elements is sometimes different than that of adults.