exercises

21. hypertext, multimedia and the world-wide web

EXERCISE 21.7 [extra - not in book]

You have been asked to design a world wide web search engine for children. What technology and interaction style would be appropriate for the system?

If you want to extend this question into a small research exercise, visit the site Ask Jeeves Kids www.ajkids.com, and analyze its interface in terms of the interaction style you described. What is the purpose of the elements that make up the design? How might it differ if aimed at older people? If you can enlist the help of a child, evaluate the design of this or a similar site using an appropriate evaluation technique. What are the strengths of the interface? Do you detect any usability problems? If you do, what improvements could be made?

For links to resources on designing for children, see Gary Perlman's Kids and Computers page: www.hcibib.org/kids/

answer available for tutors only

Little choice of physical hardware as users have their own computers: keyboard, mouse, standard PC configuration.

Choices are in how to use it: interface style simple - possibly allowing selections from suggested lists, etc., minimise need to type in and especially remember words, large image icons for young children who may have trouble controlling the mouse. Lots of feedback and colour - even ... animated images! Remember also that some metaphors and icons that are perfectly recognisable for adults may not be so for children.

The second part of this exercise is open-ended.

Other exercises in this chapter

ex.21.1 (ans), ex.21.2 (ans), ex.21.3 (ans), ex.21.4 (ans), ex.21.5 (tut), ex.21.6 (open), ex.21.7 (tut), ex.21.8 (open), ex.21.9 (open), ex.21.10 (open), ex.21.11 (tut), ex.21.12 (tut)

all exercises for this chapter