April 29, 2002
Web Usability for Senior Citizens
The Nielsen Norman Group has a report called Web Usability for Senior Citizens: 46 Design Guidelines Based on Usability Studies with People Age 65 and Older; $125 for a single report, $260 for copying/distribution within org rights:
Of interest to me in this study was that senior citizens have reduced motor skills, so interfaces that rely on fine motor control (dhtml/hierarchical menus, pull-down menus, small text links, etc.) were difficult for this user base. (I've noticed many non-seniors have high error rates using the hierachical menu systems found in mac and win OS)
April 23, 2002
NPD new media study for March 2002
Macromedia has just published the March 2002 numbers for Shockwave and Flash plugin penetration. These should be useful for pitching and planning projects that employ these technologies. The study also provides additional technographic information.
The high level view is that Flash content can now be said to be accessible by 98% of the general audience, and Shockwave (for Director) content accessible by 70% of that same audience.
Keep in mind that that 98% Flash-capable audience include versions starting at Flash 2. Projects planned to support Flash 5-specific features reach 90%, and Flash MX-based projects currently reach just over 3% of that audience (Flash MX/6 was released half-way through the month of study).
Similarly, for the Shockwave-capable audience, the 70% number represents all versions of Shockwave starting with SW6, with 36% of the audience capable of viewing Shockwave 3D content with SW8.5.
Macromedia's published findings from the study also shows some interesting technographic information for US users, including OS, browser platform, connection type and location, length of experience with the web and age of computer used.
For instance, the majority numbers look like the following (percentages reflect entire data set):
-Top computing platform: Win '98 (39%)
-Top Win browser: IE 6.x (35%)
-Top Mac browser: IE 5.x (1.6%)
-Top Connection method: 56k modem (39.9%)
(??Note the good showing of DSL/Cable modem users accounting for 30.8%)
-Top connection location: Home (68.5%)
-Tops in experience on the web: 5 or more years (57.4%)
-Tops in age of computer: Older than 2 years (35.7%)
(??Note the good showing of 1 to 2 year old computers coming in at 31.5%)
Sadly, the non-Macromedia techs are undifferentiated by version.
April 10, 2002
Kids choose net over TV?
Long time, no write. Got lots of stuff in the hopper backing up, but this one's a quick snack for those of you who develop interactive content for youngsters...
From an eMarketer news story:
"According to a study from Knowledge Networks/Statistical Research (KN/SRI), one-third of children ages 8 to 17 say the internet is the medium they would choose if they could only have one, topping television, telephone and radio. For boys, television was a strong second choice, though girls ranked TV third behind the net and telephone."