Design criteria for children's Web portals: The users speak out

Andrew Large; Jamshid Beheshti; Tarjin Rahman. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology V53, 2, JAN 15, 2002, p79-94. Available online to ASIST members with electronic subscription.

    Four focus groups were held with young Web users (10 to 13 years of age) to explore design criteria for Web portals. The focus group participants commented upon four existing portals designed with young users in mind: Ask Jeeves for Kids, KidsClick, Lycos Zone, and Yahooligans! This article reports their first impressions on using these portals, their likes and dislikes, and their suggestions for improvements. Design criteria for children's Web portals are elaborated based upon these comments under four headings: portal goals, visual design, information architecture, and personalization. An ideal portal should cater for both educational and entertainment needs, use attractive screen designs based especially on effective use of color, graphics, and animation, provide both keyword search facilities and browsable subject categories, and allow individual user personalization in areas such as color and graphics.