Skip to main content

Carlea Holl-Jensen||cholljen@umd.edu


HCIL-2005-32

Hutchinson, H. (December 2005)
Children's Interface Design for Searching and Browsing
Ph.D. Dissertation from the Department of Computer Science
HCIL-2005-32

Elementary-age children are among the largest user groups of computers and the Internet, so it is important to design searching and browsing interfaces to support them. However, many interfaces for children do not consider their skills and preferences. Children can perform simple, single item searches, and are also capable of conducting Boolean searches involving multiple search criteria. However, they have difficulty creating Boolean searches using hierarchical structures found in many interfaces. These interfaces often employ a sequential presentation of the category structure, where only one branch or facet at a time can be explored. This combination of structure and presentation keeps the screen from becoming cluttered, but requires a lot of navigation to explore categories in different areas and an understanding of potentially abstract high-level categories. Based on previous research with adults, I believed that a simultaneous presentation of a flat category structure, where users could explore multiple, single-layer categories simultaneously, would better facilitate searching and browsing for children. This method reduces the amount of navigation and removes abstract categories. However, it introduces more visual clutter and sometimes the need for paging or scrolling. My research investigated these tradeoffs in two studies comparing searching and browsing in two interfaces with children in first, third, and fifth grade. Children did free browsing tasks, searched for a single item, and searched for two items to create conjunctive Boolean queries. The results indicate that a flat, simultaneous interface was significantly faster, easier, likeable, and preferred to a hierarchical, sequential interface for the Boolean search tasks. The simultaneous interface also allowed children to create significantly more conjunctive Boolean searches of multiple items while browsing than the sequential interface. These results suggest design guidelines for others who create children's interfaces, and inform design changes in the interfaces used in the International Children's Digital Library.


[HTML


Life Relevant Learning Screenshot

Life Relevant Learning
More information

Tech Reports
Video Reports
Annual Symposium

News
Seminars + Events
Calendar
HCIL Seminar Series
Annual Symposium
HCIL Service Grants
Events Archives
Awards
HCIL Conference Travel Award
Job Openings
For the Press
HCIL Overview
Become a Member
Collaborators
Collaborating Groups + People
Academic Visitors
Join our Mailing List
Contact Us
Visit Us
HCIL Store
Give the HCIL a Hand
HCIL T-shirts for Sale
Our Lighter Side
HCIL Memories Page
Faculty/ Staff
Students
Ph.D. Alumni
Past Members
Research Areas
Communities
Design Process
Digital Libraries
Education
Physical Devices
Public Access
Visualization
Research Histories
Faculty Listed by Research
Project Highlights
Project Screenshots
Publications and TRs
Videos
Books
Products
Presentations
Studying HCI
Masters in HCI
PhD in HCI
Visiting Scholars
Class Websites
Sponsor our Research
Sponsor our Annual Symposium
Active Sponsorship
Industrial Visitors