“Usefulness”

A website might have everything else going for it (authority, currency, accuracy, and objectivity) but if it’s not the right website for you as a middle-school student, then it probably won’t be useful. Think about it: are you going to get the type of information you need from a website aimed at grade 1 students? Or what about a website for university students? Probably not in either of those cases: one would contain too little information and the other would probably include a whole bunch of words that would be hard to understand! It’s a little like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: you need to find a website that’s just right for you.

You also want a want a website that’s been designed in a way that makes it easy to access the information. And speaking of being able to access the information–you want a website that loads quickly and regularly. We already know that those “404-Not Found” messages are frustrating and so are pages which load s-l-o-w-l-y; you don’t want your valuable research time wasted!

Questions to ask:

  • Does the website load quickly?
  • Is it easy to read and navigate?
  • Has it been designed clearly and logically?
  • Is this the right website for you: are you the intended audience?

To be useful, you have to be the intended audience; make sure the information is just right for you!