As I read Jakob Nielsen's latest post "College Students on the Web," the summary resonated with me:
"Students are multitaskers who move through websites rapidly, often missing the item they come to find. They're enraptured by social media but reserve it for private conversations and thus visit company sites from search engines."
Nielsen also noted, "Students usually kept many browser tabs open at the same time. When a site slowed them down, they'd usually switch to another tab and continue on another site. Even if they're just checking their Facebook page, such context switches removed users from the flow of using the first site. Thus, even in cases when they later returned, users had a harder time picking up where they had left off."
I couldn't help but chuckle at Nielsen's description because he accurately describes my behavior. At times, I have been known to have a dozen or more tabs open on my browser and not only have one browser window open but three or four. My attention jumps from site to site in a split second. So, while I am definitely NOT in the student age group he refers to (18-24) - I do like to think my online habits mean I am young at heart.
Read Nielsen's entire article at: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/students.html.