While teenagers and young professionals use most of today’s technology, you shouldn’t forget about the elderly, as well. As older adults are one of the fastest growing group of online users todays, web designers and developers need to make sites accessible for all, with special attention to the elderly.
The thing is, however, most developers are young or with a median age of 30 years old or younger. They seem to forget elderly behavior online, excluding them in the design and the navigation process.
C1 Partners and other SEO service providers share what they believe older people want and don’t want in a web design:
Problems with Vision
It is common for most adults to have a declining vision, which makes it difficult for them to read content in small fonts. They also find it difficult to tell colors apart, particularly those that look pale or washed-out. This is why it is important make changes to better accommodate elderly users. Websites that target older adults need to have at least a 12-point font as default and should allow users to increase or change text size as they want.
No to Drastic Changes
Drastic changes in design and navigation confuses elderly the most. Research suggest that many older adults try to keep instructions on how to navigate websites they normally browse or visit. When site owners perform a major overhaul, it is likely that seniors may have a difficult time navigating the new site. For those who want to make changes, keep it gradual and minimal, and try to maintain consistency in design and navigation.
Avoid Complex Designs
SEO experts note that designers and developers also need to be forgiving with how the elderly use websites. Some seniors find it difficult to use complex search engines and online forms that require special characters. They don’t like using parenthesis or hyphen when filling an online form, and are also disappointed with simply query typos.
Complicated and difficult-to-navigate websites exclude not just the seniors, but also some young Internet users. Website owners need to keep in mind the technology is focused on improving people’s lives. This is why they need to have a professionally designed and user-friendly website that is accessible for all.