4 things 12-year-old kids want in a Web App.

Again, I’m discussing a 12-year-old kids questionnaire at IES Ribera del Duero. So what does this study tell us about children’s Internet participation? What do they appreciate in an application / web page to participate in it?

We gave the interviewed kids the following options to be answered with a value from 1 to 10:

  • The amount of people using it. What’s the attractiveness factor when there are lots of people in a social network?
  • My friends or people I know are registered. The same, but restricted to close people.
  • Freedom of expression. Is it important for them to feel that they can write what they like without restrictions?
  • Interface design, UX… app/site general aspect. The app interface should be ‘a la mode’.
  • Ease of use. Usability issues.
  • “It has a clear functionality”. This could be an odd question, but not so with a little explanation of what it means. Would you use it merely to procrastinate or with a clear use in mind? Or verbalized in a PhD researcher’s way: how much do you ponder how functionally clean an app is?

Well, let’s see how well you do now kids! Do not look at the graphic, and try to find out which axis is more important for them to decide to use an app or to participate in a social network. [tick-tock] Ok. You can watch now!

And now, let’s interpret that. They are not so interested in who is using the tool, whether they feel comfortable using it, whether the functionality is clear and if it is visually attractive.

Those two fields at the end.

As you are very attentive you would right now be wondering about the last two fields used to allow kids to freely add any other factor. Yes, those are expected to remain wide open.

But it is here where you start to feel there is something you didn’t know. Wide open? Not so!

  • One of the kids add ‘insults’ as a factor, labeling that with a ‘1’ value, which could be understood that if he/she sees insults, she/he “changes channel”.
  • Another one liked apps/webpages with resources to download. That’s ok.

And among the others, 7 out of each 10 wrote: ‘privacy’. Wow! And with an average importance valuation of 9.44 over 10 too. Who expected that? Mmm. Hurray. Hurray for these kids that surprise us each time we devote a bit of our time to trying to understand them!

Facebook? What’s Facebook?

It may be the most populated social network, but that doesn’t seem to be the case among these kids. In addition to WhatsApp (almost 80%), the following most used networks are Instagram and YouTube. Only one of the answers declares that he/she is using Facebook!

That’s true? :O

And now, what could I do to watch – I would call that spying on – what my son/daughter is doing on the Internet? (Real question) A-ha! This seems to be one of the main reasons for kids emigrating to other networks: their parents are on Facebook.

A humility treatment.

And what about the last question: What do you like the most and the least about the talk? (Because this questionnaire was at the end of a talk). I will cover that in another post, but I will leave a little bit of fresh flesh for the sharks here:

  • For those 5 minutes you were talking, I was a little bit bored.

Wow. Of course! Kids need to participate, not just listen.

Raúl Antón Cuadrado


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