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      How Kids See Search: A Visual Analysis of Internet Search Engines


      Proceedings of the 31st International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2017) (HCI)

      digital make-believe, with delegates considering our expansive

      3 - 6 July 2017

      web search, children, digital information behaviour, internet search engines, information search

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          Through previous studies into children’s internet search practice, we have gained insight into the taught strategies, information behaviour, and common errors children experience while searching. This paper analyses the visual structure of commonly-used internet search engines (ISEs) to explore how the interface and interaction design of ISEs may influence the search practices of children. Common features of ISEs are identified and the effects of query construction techniques on the visual presentation of information are reported. We use our observations to provide guidelines for the design and development of ISEs for children.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Children's use of the Yahooligans! Web search engine: I. Cognitive, physical, and affective behaviors on fact-based search tasks

           Dania Bilal (2000)
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            Information Problem Solving: A Wider View of Library Skills

             Penny Moore (1995)
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              A blessing, not a curse: experimental evidence for beneficial effects of visual aesthetics on performance.

              The present experiment investigated the effect of visual aesthetics on performance. A total of 257 volunteers completed a series of search tasks on a website providing health-related information. Four versions of the website were created by manipulating visual aesthetics (high vs. low) and usability (good vs. poor) in a 2 x 2 between-subjects design. Task completion times and error rates were used as performance measures. A main effect of usability on both error rates and completion time was observed. Additionally, a significant interaction of visual aesthetics and usability revealed that high aesthetics enhanced performance under conditions of poor usability. Thus, in contrast to the notion that visual aesthetics may worsen performance, visual aesthetics even compensated for poor usability by speeding up task completion. The practical and theoretical implications of this finding are discussed.

                Author and article information

                July 2017
                July 2017
                : 1-6
                Department of Computer Science

                The University of Waikato

                New Zealand
                © Schulz et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of British HCI 2017 – Digital Make-Believe. Sunderland, UK.

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

                Proceedings of the 31st International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2017)
                Sunderland, UK
                3 - 6 July 2017
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                digital make-believe, with delegates considering our expansive
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page):
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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