Web Design: Teen Web MD

Social interface design with the focus on a well-defined target group.

Challenges:  difficult target group, finding a balance between simplicity in navigation and amount of information offered
Tools:  Illustrator, Flash, HTML, CSS
Deliverables:  report, an interactive website prototype, user study results

Designing websites for teenagers is a challenging task. The initial research revealed that a colorful website with a lot of graphics and not enough serious information will quickly be deemed as “childish”, while on the other hand, a website with a lot of useful information, but standard navigation will be seen as boring. Most teens want useful information, especially when looking for something health-related, but they want the information to be easy to find and to-the-point because a typical teenager will not read an article that is too long. That is why, in this redesign of a popular web health website (webMD), we stripped the interface down to basics, made the interaction fun, but kept the graphics serious, and reduced the amount of text, but kept it useful and direct.

We evaluated the interface with teens aged 12-18, in comparison to other health-themed, teenage-oriented website. Our approach to interface was very appreciated, and often voted as the most preferred one.

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