Jakob Nielsen: getting old makes you slow! Really, wow

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browsing 100 pix.jpgFor every year you grow older, you go to 0.3% more web pages to find what you’re looking for and spend 0.5% longer trying to find it when you get there. That’s according to the results of a new study by web usability boffin, Jakob Nielsen.

Now, before any nine-year-olds start panicking, it only applies once you get past 25, and before any 25-year-olds leap from the windows, I’m not particularly convinced it’s true.

Firstly, the study only involved a sample of 61 people. Sixty-one people could tell you that Sydney is the capital of Australia, doesn’t make it true. Secondly, the reason older users took longer could be because they were more diligent. Who cares about how fast people are if they’re making mistakes?

Of course the other point is that although this slowing down may average out 0.3 or 0.5% each year, that doesn’t mean it’s actually a linear scale. In other words, the users tested below the age of 50 could have been just as web savvy as those under 25 with one or two silver surfers skewing the results.

So, I say don’t sweat it folks and until Mr Nielsen comes down here with his papers to prove otherwise, you can continue to browse safe in the knowledge that you’ve got the fastest fingers in the West, unless you’re really old that is.

(via New Scientist)

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Daniel Sung