Designing for Teens

17 Nov 2010 - 3:21pm
3 years ago
5 replies
984 reads
Sunny Medwed
2009

Hey there,
I am embarking on an online eCommerce project for which teens are the primary target market. This is a new audience for me. Of course most usability principles are broad enough to apply to all audiences, however, I'm curious if anyone has a POV on things that are unique to teens. This may include:
- interaction principles
- usability principles
- device vs desktop web
- copy/content considerations
- unique perspectives on brand & marketing
- shopping & fulfillment considerations

Thanks
Sunny Medwed

Comments

17 Nov 2010 - 10:05pm
Christian Snodgrass
2008

As far as visual design goes, teens (especially younger teens) are still very much like kids in that they like bright colors and softer shapes. However, they don't want to feel like they're being treated like kids, so splashes of sophistication are also required. It's generally a fine balance between the two.

As far as interaction design goes, teens are generally more technologically savvy then their older counterparts. This doesn't mean that you should do away with good usability though. What it means more is that it takes more to impress and engage them. More "interactive" approaches (slide shows, 360 views, etc.) tend to work better with them then their older counterparts.

Just a few thoughts and observations.

- Chris

On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 4:49 PM, Sunny Medwed <sunny@solve360.com> wrote:

Hey there,
I am embarking on an online eCommerce project for which teens are the primary target market. This is a new audience for me. Of course most usability principles are broad enough to apply to all audiences, however, I'm curious if anyone has a POV on things that are unique to teens. This may include:
- interaction principles
- usability principles
- device vs desktop web
- copy/content considerations
- unique perspectives on brand & marketing
- shopping & fulfillment considerations

Thanks
Sunny Medwed

18 Nov 2010 - 12:05am
bminihan
2007

One note of caution: If you have any social interaction bits in your
site, make sure to provide protection mechanisms and HEEEEAAAAVVVY
profanity filters on anything they can enter in free-text that will be
displayed on your site.

Teens like to be creative.

Bryan Minihan Phone: 919-428-4744 Email: bjminihan@gmail.com LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanminihan

On Nov 17, 2010, at 10:05 PM, Christian Snodgrass wrote:

> As far as visual design goes, teens (especially younger teens) are
> still very much like kids in that they like bright colors and softer
> shapes. However, they don't want to feel like they're being treated
> like kids, so splashes of sophistication are also required. It's
> generally a fine balance between the two. > > As far as interaction design goes, teens are generally more
> technologically savvy then their older counterparts. This doesn't
> mean that you should do away with good usability though. What it
> means more is that it takes more to impress and engage them. More
> "interactive" approaches (slide shows, 360 views, etc.) tend to work
> better with them then their older counterparts. > > Just a few thoughts and observations. > > - Chris > > On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 4:49 PM, Sunny Medwed [1]> wrote: > >> Hey there, >> I am embarking on an online eCommerce project for which teens are
>> the primary target market. This is a new audience for me. Of course
>> most usability principles are broad enough to apply to all
>> audiences, however, I'm curious if anyone has a POV on things that
>> are unique to teens. This may include: >> >> - interaction principles >> - usability principles >> - device vs desktop web >> - copy/content considerations >> - unique perspectives on brand & marketing >> - shopping & fulfillment considerations >> >> Thanks >> Sunny Medwed >> >

18 Nov 2010 - 12:05am
chrischandler
2008


Never trust anyone over thirty Sunny -- I think you might have turned into "the man" when you weren't looking.

I would think carefully before trying to climb inside these heads and bodies. "Teens" today -- although frankly, that is a lousy leftover mass-marketing segmentation shibboleth -- .are you targeting the jocks or the stoners? The freaks and the geeks? The mods or the rockers?? The juggalos or the burners??

Kid's these days purpose-build virtual personaes on a whim, effortlessly calculating how much fact and how much fantasy to mix into each avatar they put on* They have not only been exposed to more virtual violence and sex then ever -- 8000 murders viewed on tv by the time they reach high school -- but most of them actively participate in one way or another in CREATING shared simulations of sex and violence that boggle the mind... and by actively, I mean casually, and of course, they're all right.

For some cheap ethnograpic research you could spend a little time on chat roulette!! In-between the boys-being-boys you will meet many gangs of roving youth, trying, I think, to make sense of what life online means today, or making fun of it, or, well, you know, meh. (Oh god, do the young people still say that??)

They text faster than than you or I can type, so I would think your solution includes sms, right? You should plan to support between 100 and 150 APMs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbpCLqryN-Q


Perhaps you will find an early clue to the new direction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QREeweMWTZk

-cc

* A friend of mine told me the other day that she didn't have to worry like other parents because her daughter was apparently oblivious to the fact that they were friends on facebook and so she could follow along with everything her daughter did. I can only imagine how many other thousands of parents are having the social wool pulled over their eyes every day in this modern world.






On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 1:42 PM, Sunny Medwed <sunny@solve360.com> wrote:

Hey there,
I am embarking on an online eCommerce project for which teens are the primary target market. This is a new audience for me. Of course most usability principles are broad enough to apply to all audiences, however, I'm curious if anyone has a POV on things that are unique to teens. This may include:
- interaction principles
- usability principles
- device vs desktop web
- copy/content considerations
- unique perspectives on brand & marketing
- shopping & fulfillment considerations

Thanks
Sunny Medwed

18 Nov 2010 - 12:05pm
Prof. AProfeta
2009

Actually had a student use "meh" yesterday. I applauded her on her pronounced annunciation of the "m". And then gently reminded her that there was a whole thesaurus available in order to better describe her view of her work effort on a project. TonyPRO Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

-----Original Message----- From: chrischandler Sender:
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2010 23:32:24 To: Reply-To: discuss@ixda.org Subject: Re: [IxDA] Designing for Teens

Never trust anyone over thirty Sunny -- I think you might have turned into
"the man" when you weren't looking.

I would think carefully before trying to climb inside these heads and bodies.
"Teens" today -- although frankly, that is a lousy leftover mass-marketing
segmentation shibboleth -- .are you targeting the jocks or the stoners? The
freaks and the geeks? The mods or the rockers?? The juggalos or the burners??

Kid's these days purpose-build virtual personaes on a whim, effortlessly
calculating how much fact and how much fantasy to mix into each avatar they put on* They have
not only been exposed to more virtual violence and sex then ever -- 8000
murders viewed on tv by the time they reach high school -- but most of them
actively participate in one way or another in CREATING shared simulations of
sex and violence that boggle the mind... and by actively, I mean casually, and of course, they're all right.

For some cheap ethnograpic research you could spend a little time on chat
roulette!! In-between the boys-being-boys you will meet many gangs of roving
youth, trying, I think, to make sense of what life online means today, or
making fun of it, or, well, you know, meh. (Oh god, do the young people still
say that??)

They text faster than than you or I can type, so I would think your solution
includes sms, right? You should plan to support between 100 and 150 APMs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbpCLqryN-Q [1]

Perhaps you will find an early clue to the new direction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QREeweMWTZk [2]

-cc

  • A friend of mine told me the other day that she didn't have to worry like
    other parents because her daughter was apparently oblivious to the fact that they were friends on facebook and so she could follow along with everything her daughter did. I can only imagine how many other thousands of parents are having the social wool pulled over their eyes every day in this modern world.

On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 1:42 PM, Sunny Medwed wrote:

>Hey there, >I am embarking on an online eCommerce project for which teens are the
>primary target market. This is a new audience for me. Of course most
>usability principles are broad enough to apply to all audiences, however,
>I'm curious if anyone has a POV on things that are unique to teens. This may
>include: > >- interaction principles >- usability principles >- device vs desktop web >- copy/content considerations >- unique perspectives on brand & marketing >- shopping & fulfillment considerations > >Thanks >Sunny Medwed >

18 Nov 2010 - 8:38pm
Paul Bryan
2008

We do a lot of research with millennials (late teens and early 20's) on the topic of multichannel shopping. A sample video that highlights the UX pain points a younger millennial female encounters while multichannel shopping can be found at:  http://tinyurl.com/39syeca.

I don't want to over-generalize characteristics of this generation, but we are seeing some differentiating interactive patterns that could be applicable to your project. In our studies of millennial females and multichannel apparel shopping, we're finding:

- Participants are looking for a wide variety of sharing opportunities when shopping. They specifically mention Facebook Like this product; text myself or someone else a link to this product; email this link to my roommates and friends so they can tell me what they think; write about this product on Facebook; send pictures of this dress to my Mom, etc. We hear this over and over.

- Showing who else bought something is critical, as evidenced by the haul videos that garner millions of YouTube hits (http://tinyurl.com/28sf3r2)

- While older users mention experts, younger viewers mention peers.

- Millennials seem more able than their older counterparts to scan a list of 30 reviews and quickly take what they need from them.

- Millennials are obviously very comfortable with mobile technology for social interactions. However, we're seeing some hesitation among this demographic to dive fully into mobile commerce (see a brief video on this topic at: http://vimeo.com/13681565)

- Millennials are aware of many shopping options, and mention them out loud in research, as though they are constantly weighing in to the decision criteria.

- They respond very well to tactile experience, e.g. large images and touch interface (e.g. iPad).

- They seem much more engaged emotionally when the UX of a site is tuned in to their demographic (see Charlotte Russe for example of this, which, for example, has a BFF 10-digit phone number input at the top of the page for text message updates).

Digital natives are younger and behave differently from millennials (http://tinyurl.com/35agrxx). They probably don't have authorization to transact on your site, but Nike ID is an example of a commerce site that pulls play and personalization together and engages this age segment.

/pb

Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/uxexperts/

Blog: http://www.virtualfloorspace.com

 

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