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BizReport : Internet : May 11, 2009

Web usability study reveals need for speed

Men like it fast and easy while women prefer easy and accessible. What am I talking about? Web usability. New research from Southern Illinois University has found that there are specific gender differences when it comes to surfing preferences.

by Helen Leggatt

While both genders agree that the most important factor for web usability is 'ease of use', that's where the similarities stop.

The second most important factor for men was download speed, but for women it was navigation. It seems men just want to log on and get things done, while women want to take their time and foster relationships.

Interestingly, both men and women put customization as the least important factor in web usability.

"The thing I found most surprising was the relative lack of importance the respondents placed on personalization / customization," said one of the report authors, John Pearson.

"With all the advertising out there about how easy it is to customize applications, I would have thought this construct would have been very important. The only explanation I can come up with for men is that we tend to be impatient, while women don't want the task to be difficult."

Tags: accessbility, customization, download speed, ease of use, gender, men, navigation, Southern Illinois University, web usability, women

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