I recently researched web usability and human-information interaction issues for older people (view the list of resources on web usability, accessibility, & older users that I compiled for my research). Based on this research, I designed a museum website prototype whose primary user group was adults over 65. The article “Tech Is Ignoring a Huge Untapped Market: Older People” by Naomi Day for Marker, makes the case for prioritizing the needs of older people when designing user-interfaces:
“Older folks are poorly represented in tech — and it shows in its designs
It’s becoming increasingly popular for tech companies to design for accessibility when it comes to disabled users. There are intro to web accessibility lists all over the internet. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has easy-to-follow tips for getting started with accessible design and accessible development. […]
Older folks, however, are rarely mentioned explicitly in conversations around tech accessibility. Age is usually presented as a potential contributor to impairments, as in WAI’s discussion on Diverse Abilities and Barriers, but not an experience that might need intentional design.
But while screen readers, typography, and color contrast are all worthy and necessary accessible issues to consider, designing for older folks needs to start earlier and go far deeper than addressing accessibility questions that are raised too far after much of the development work has already finished.”
How can products be better designed for older users?
1. Include older people in the design and development process.
2. Design products specifically for older people.
Photo by Med Badr Chemmaoui