Low‐Literacy Search Behavior: Designing to Increase Information Retrieval and Successful Task Completion on Government Means‐Based Program Websites
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Type of Work114 leaves
DepartmentDivision of Science, Information Arts and Technologies
ProgramInformation and Interaction Design
RightsCC0 1.0 Universal
This item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by the University of Baltimore for non-commercial research and educational purposes.
The purpose of this observational study is to support existing research on low-literacy user interactions and behaviors, and to observe how low-literacy users interact with and perceive means-based government program websites. There is substantial research on interaction design for mobile websites and applications. Although there is existing research specifically focusing on low-literacy mobile usage, the topic needs further attention. In the United States, a majority of low-income adults are owners of smartphones and an increasing number are using smartphones as their main source of internet access. Since there is a correlation between low literacy and low income, websites and applications targeted to low-income or low-literacy adults should follow the appropriate mobile design guidelines. Means-based government programs are used by millions of Americans and provide necessities including assistance with food, shelter, and healthcare. It is critical their websites be designed to match the capabilities of low-literacy users. For this study, usage of three means-based government websites by adults with low literacy levels was initially observed. A mobile prototype of one of the observed sites was developed based on the findings from the initial study. The prototype was then compared with its current active counterpart. The findings of this study not only supported existing mobile design guidelines for low-literacy users, the study also identified additional relevant behaviors and perceptions of low-literacy users when interacting with means-based government program websites.
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- Creative Commons