According to a study of college students in four countries by user-experience research firm Nielsen Norman Group, students associate social networking sites with private discussions and not with corporate marketing. When students want to learn about a company or organization, they turn to search engines to find that organization’s official Web site. The study findings also include:
• Students like technology, but are not technical: College students are often stereotyped as being extremely tech savvy. While it may be true for some, most expect the Web to be easy to use and streamline their efforts without hassle.
• Students are unimpressed by fancy design and multimedia. College students generally view Web sites as tools to help them get things done. They appreciate multimedia on certain sites like YouTube, but they don’t want multimedia at all times on all sites. They like it only when it serves their purpose.
• Students move fast and miss information. Students immediately flee a Web site when confronted with a page full of dense text. They don’t even bother reading the first sentence.
Source: Nielsen Norman Group