A Usability Protocol for Evaluating Online Social Networks

  • Kyle Boyd
  • Chris Nugent
  • Mark Donnelly
  • Roy Sterritt
  • Raymond Bond
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7251)


Online Social Networking (OSN) has become one of the biggest successes of the Internet. Facebook is the most popular service with over 800 million users. OSN have the potential to combat feelings of social isolation amongst the aging population. This study has investigated how people with differing levels of experience using OSN, within different age categories, are able to interact with the core features of Facebook. The goal has been to identify concessions and produce guidelines for designing an OSN for older people. This paper presents quantitative findings from a usability study which utilized eye tracking to observe 20 users’ interactions with Facebook. The usability issues that were encountered and how these may be addressed to help older people with social isolation are discussed.


Social Isolation Web 2.0 Online Social Networks Facebook Usability Eyetracking 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyle Boyd
    • 1
  • Chris Nugent
    • 1
  • Mark Donnelly
    • 1
  • Roy Sterritt
    • 1
  • Raymond Bond
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science Research InstituteUniversity of UlsterJordanstownNorthern Ireland

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