Websites for children: Search strategies and interface design: Three studies on children's search performance and evaluation

Hanna Jochmann-Mannak

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research external, graduation UT

    1090 Downloads (Pure)


    Every day, more children use digital media to search for information. While most children aged 8-12 make use of Google to search for information, research shows that children experience all kinds of problems using search interfaces such as Google. One of the reasons is that these informational search interfaces were not designed for children. The research reported in this dissertation is about the design of informational interfaces for children. We explored how children interact with these interfaces. And we tested the effects of specific design choices on children’s search performance and their attitude towards different interface design types. The goal of the different studies reported in this dissertation was to learn more about children’s interaction with different interface design types and to learn how to design interfaces that ‘work’ for children and that children ‘like’. We expected that both usability and the fun factor of an informational website are important for children. In this research we made use of a mixed methods design in which both quantitative and qualitative research methods were mixed. Three iterative steps were taken fol- lowing one another in time in which one stage influenced the decision about the next stage. The first step was a corpus study to identify design conventions of children’s search interfaces. The second step was an explorative study to explore children’s search behaviour on existing search interfaces that are representative for the children’s search interfaces, based on the results of the corpus study. The third step was an experiment to test children’s search performance on and affective responses towards three types of search interfaces for children. The interfaces for this experiment were developed based on the results of the corpus study. The research directions suggested by the results of the explorative study were empirically tested in this experiment.
    Original languageEnglish
    • Huibers, Theo W.C., Supervisor
    • Lentz, Leo R., Supervisor, External person
    • Sanders, T.J.M., Co-Supervisor, External person
    Thesis sponsors
    Award date9 Jan 2014
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-3602-8
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2014


    • Interface design
    • Children
    • Information search
    • HMI-HF: Human Factors
    • EWI-24201
    • METIS-300275
    • IR-88732
    • EU project PuppyIR


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