HCIL-2009-04

Druin, A., Foss, E., Hatley, L., Golub, E., Guha, M., Fails, J., Hutchinson, H.
February 2009
HCIL-2009-04
Children are among the most frequent users of the Internet, yet searching and browsing the web can present many challenges. Studies over the past two decades on how children search were conducted with finite and pre-determined content found in CD-ROM applications, online digital libraries, and web directories. However, with the current popularity of the open Internet and keyword-based interfaces for searching it, more critical analysis of the challenges children face today is needed. This paper presents the findings of our initial study to understand how children ages 7, 9, and 11 search the Internet using keyword interfaces in the home. Our research has revealed that although todays children have been exposed to computers for most of their lives, spelling, typing, query formulation, and deciphering results are all still potential barriers to finding the information they need.
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