Effects of age and training on World Wide Web navigation strategies

Sherry E. Mead, Victoria A. Spaulding, Richard A. Sit, Beth Meyer, Neff Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The present study examined the effects of age and type of training on efficiency and preferences in a World Wide Web search activity. Older and younger participants received a hands-on Web navigation tutorial or a verbal description of available navigation tools. Participants then searched a 19-page Web site for the answers to nine questions. Older participants were able to complete most of the nine search tasks, but followed more links and scrolled more pages to find the required information than did younger adults. Factors in this inefficiency were patterns of returning to the home page while searching and revisiting previously viewed pages during a single task. Hands-on training was associated with increased use of the more efficient navigation tools. Older adults, especially those who received hands-on training, were more likely to use the `site map' and `index tabs' than were younger adults. Implications for training and Web site design are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-156
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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