The impact of age on website usability Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • As older adults increasingly make use of the Internet to enhance their personal and professional lives, the study of web site usability for older adults is becoming increasingly relevant. Web site usability is concerned with both utilitarian (i.e. functional) and hedonic (i.e. pleasure-related) aspects. This study explores the impact of age on select utilitarian (mental model accuracy and performance) and hedonic (disorientation and engagement) measures of web site usability, and the subsequent impact of these utilitarian and hedonic measures on user satisfaction. A laboratory experiment was conducted where 50 younger and 51 older participants interacted with an experimental web site. The results of the PLS analysis suggest that age has a more pronounced impact on utilitarian constructs than hedonic ones. Specifically, older adults were less able to create an accurate mental model of the web site and in turn had poorer performance with the web site. In terms of impact on user satisfaction, the contribution of hedonic constructs was significant while the impact of utilitarian constructs was not.

publication date

  • 2014