Children seek information in order to complete school projects on a wide variety of topics, as well as to support their various leisure activities. Such information can be found in print documents, but increasingly young people are turning to the Web to meet their information needs. In order to exploit this resource, however, children must be able to search or browse digital information through the intermediation of an interface. In particular, they must use Web-based portals that in most cases have been designed for adult users. Guidelines for interface design are not hard to find, but typically they also postulate adult rather than juvenile users. The authors discuss their own research work that has focused upon what young people themselves have to say about the design of portal interfaces. They conclude that specific interface design guidelines are required for young users rather than simply relying upon general design guidelines, and that in order to formulate such guidelines it is necessary to actively include the young people themselves in this process.


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pp. 318-342
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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