Skip to main content

A Usability Protocol for Evaluating Online Social Networks

  • Conference paper
Impact Analysis of Solutions for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (ICOST 2012)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNISA,volume 7251))

Included in the following conference series:


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Barreto, C.: What comes after Web 2.0? In: XML Conference and Exposition (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Murugesan, S.: Understanding Web 2.0. IT Professional 9, 34–41 (2007)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Facebook,

  4. Facebook Statistics,

  5. Nielsen, J., Pernice, K.: Eyetracking web usability. Newriders (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  6. Nielsen, J.: Usability Components,

  7. Nielsen, J.: Designing web usability. Newriders (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Krug, S.: Don’t make me think! A common sense approach to web usability, 2nd edn. Newriders, Berkley (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Office of National Statistics,: Statistical Bulletin, Old Peoples Day P1 (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Rogers, R., Peres, Y., Müller, W.: Living Longer Independently – a Healthcare Interoperability Perspective 127, 206–211 (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Alzheimer’s Disease International: World Alzheimer Report (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  12. Wilson, D.W., Lin, X., Longstreet, P., et al.: Web 2.0: A Definition, Literature Review, and Directions for Future Research. In: AMCIS 2011 Proceedings, Paper 368 (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Xie, B., Huang, M., Watkins, I.: Technology and retirement life: A systematic review of the literature on older adults and social media. In: Wang, M. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Retirement. Oxford University Press (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Mellor, D., Firth, L., Moore, K.: Can the Internet Improve the Well-being of the Elderly? Ageing Int. 32, 25–42 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Shapira, N., Barak, A., Gal, I.: Promoting Older Adults’ Well-being through Internet Training and use. Aging & Mental Health 11, 477–484 (2007)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Goswami, S., Köbler, F., Leimeister, J.M., et al.: Using Online Social Networking to Enhance Social Connectedness and Social Support for the Elderly, Paper 109 (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  17. Office of National Statistics,

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this paper

Cite this paper

Boyd, K., Nugent, C., Donnelly, M., Sterritt, R., Bond, R. (2012). A Usability Protocol for Evaluating Online Social Networks. In: Donnelly, M., Paggetti, C., Nugent, C., Mokhtari, M. (eds) Impact Analysis of Solutions for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management. ICOST 2012. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 7251. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-30778-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-30779-9

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics