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10 June 2013 by Gary

IMPROVING WEBSITES FOR ELDERLY USERS

IMPROVING WEBSITES FOR ELDERLY USERS

Whilst the proportion of older people using the Internet is lower than in younger age groups, the numbers of users within the 65+ age group is growing most rapidly, as an ever larger percentage of elderly folk go online.

Research findings published recently have shown that many senior citizens still find it difficult to use the internet however; there is a lower success rate when completing tasks online (see link below).

http://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-for-senior-citizens/

The research suggests that 45% of seniors are uncomfortable trying new things, so drastic design changes to any web site can have a negative impact on current users.

Also it states that 65+ users are 43% slower than users aged 21-55, so making any site easier to access, navigate and use is going to be helpful.

Useful tips are:

- Ensure there is an option to increase the font size

- Make your navigation easier, using hypertext links with large text so they can be seen and clicked on, as well as use large text in any call to action or on navigation buttons

- Simplify any form filling on e commerce sites

One of the positive conclusions from the research however is that websites have become somewhat better designed for seniors than they used to be. It seems that the needs of the elderly are being recognized with organisations being increasingly senior friendly.

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