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College Students on the Web: Usability Guidelines for Creating Compelling Websites for College Students

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Abstract

This report is based on user research with university-level students (both undergraduates and graduate students), who varied by age (18–24 years old). The research was conducted in 4 countries on 3 continents (Australia, Germany, the UK, and the USA), but study participants originated from many additional countries. Nielsen Norman Group tested the way college students use real sites designed for students as well as their use of mainstream websites. The report contains 86 design guidelines that will make websites more suited for students and easier for them to use. The guidelines are based on usability tests and ethnographic observation of 217 websites. Richly illustrated with 222 color screenshots, showing designs that worked well for students as well as designs they didn't like or that caused them usability problems.

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2011

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Nielsen Norman Group

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College students; Web site design; Graphical user interfaces

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technical report

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