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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Designing for Young People

    Does anyone have any resources for good practices when designing for young people? I'm starting a site soon which will be aimed at 14-18 year olds and want it to be as visually appealing to this age group as possible.

    What do people think? Anyone got any examples of well-designed sites aimed at people of these ages?

    -Sam
    Sam Hastings

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru hgilbert's Avatar
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    my sister works for a publisher that sells many children's book
    one in particular aimed at teenagers gripped my attention
    the book is called Dr.Mirriam Stoppard's Drugs Info File

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...olvthesociefo/
    (check the pages inside)

    Each chapter had a unique layout, and I thought if only I could transpose the same effect into webpages - I'd learn a lot about good web design.
    (never got round it though)

    The exercise would be challenge, some interesting effects with borders there, and captions.

    What I liked about the book specially it's how the text had effects to emphasize.
    • How bullets were used


    All these things people teach when writing text for the web:
    http://www.useit.com/papers/webwriting/
    But with special emphasis to make it also interesting for the teenager:
    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20050131.html

    This is one homework I really want to accomplish one day

    Also check out www.faceparty.com
    I once knew the webdesigners from there,
    it is very appealing to the 14-18 age group.


  3. #3
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Sam, think sites this age group visits. Then anylyse them. What sites did you visit when you were 14 - 16? Maybe you could even do a survey on some non-designer forum?

    I visited a lot of band sites and gaming sites (ign.com). I think it's not so much the visual layout that matters, but the 'look' these teenagers are used to.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstwntd
    Sam, think sites this age group visits. Then anylyse them. What sites did you visit when you were 14 - 16? Maybe you could even do a survey on some non-designer forum?
    Open question: What sites do 14-18-year-olds visit?
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  5. #5
    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
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    Try looking at official sports webpages. They certainly draw a large number of hits from that age group.

    Thinking about it a little bit more...it's more of the content that draws this age group to the sports sites, not the design.

    One thing that definately appeals to this age group is interactivity with the website. Namely, flash.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Force Flow
    One thing that definately appeals to this age group is interactivity with the website. Namely, flash.
    This is the group that likes all those splash pages, music incorporated with flash, slick designs....they don't care about accessibility in general; so go ahead violate the rules. Most of them have the up-to-date browsers. The Geeky side would be using Firefox or Linux' browsers, and the other non-geeky side would be using IE. They want to see things "move" and they want games.
    After 8 years of using tables,
    they tell me tables weren't designed for this...BAH.
    Trade-offs exist everywhere.
    Accessibility (tables) vs. 'Logical and 'Proper' (css).

  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru hgilbert's Avatar
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    it depends on the target audience and region also.
    if 50% of the userbase are still on dial-up, they will get a Internet Explorer timeout with heavy site (Flash can add to that)

    whereas accessibility is concerned, child with disabilities have the same rights than an adult. Why deprive them?
    Disney Stores UK preferred not to.
    Accessibility is not about solely back-browser compatibility.
    But it could be about providing alternative content.

    • Want to use Flash? Just embed a static HTML representation of the same.
    • Want to add pictures instead of text? Just make sure your images have proper alt descriptions.


    Even little things like that, that will only help you get higher hits in Search Engines.
    Can improve the surfing experience for someone.

    No need to go over the top at first,
    but little easy things like that can make a lot difference.


  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhabus
    This is the group that likes all those splash pages, music incorporated with flash, slick designs....they don't care about accessibility in general; so go ahead violate the rules. Most of them have the up-to-date browsers. The Geeky side would be using Firefox or Linux' browsers, and the other non-geeky side would be using IE. They want to see things "move" and they want games.
    Where is all this information coming from? Is it a guess or are there facts that support it?
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  9. #9
    Brian.Michael Metalish's Avatar
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    Well, since I'm near the age group I have a few thoughts.

    I never notice a design unless two things:

    It's horrible, I can't think of a reason why someone would make this dreadful place.
    Flash that involves a unique interactivity.

    Else, I look for what I want and leave. =P


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