Tips on how to design your web site with older clients in thoughts by Laura McLoughlin of @glazedigital

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For those born after 1980, the world of technology is a given. While the 50-year-old wasn’t born into a digital world, she was present throughout her adult life. For this group, the development into the online world has become easier. However, for those entering old age, web design is often inappropriate and inaccessible. You not only enjoy the luxury of the digital native; Access to information from the screen is too small, the wrong color, in an order that is not intuitive.

For businesses serving a senior market, making sure your website is accessible is just as important as redesigning a brick and mortar store. You wouldn’t think twice about a ramp at the entrance and a toilet on the ground floor, but think about your online space too. Here we offer some critical advice to help you welcome your target market online.

For those entering old age, web design is often inappropriate and inaccessible.

Specify text for non-text content

Many people can only access the Internet with the help of a screen reader. As a result, all non-text content is invisible to your users, including images of your products. To get around this, you can use the alt text for all graphic elements. Whether it’s a photo or a diagram, a concise description of the alt attributes means that the user has access to that content.

Also, use a logical order of headings when creating screen reader websites. Using semantic HTML can also be helpful as it lets the screen reader know what element is on the page – be it a header, footer, website address, image, or more.

Use a larger font and audio alternatives

In old age we often have problems with our hearing and eyesight. It is therefore important to offer subtitles when integrating audio and video. It is now possible to use speech recognition software to generate these subtitles automatically.

It is also important that the font is large enough to read for all of the written content. At the same time, most of the older users might use a 200% zoom to view information in their browser and you will need to test that the website remains readable.

In old age we often have problems with our hearing and eyesight. It is therefore important to offer subtitles when integrating audio and video.

Most people access the internet using a smartphone or tablet. Hence, access to links requires a certain level of hand-eye coordination and general stability, which can become challenging as you age.

Place hyperlinks

Since hyperlinks are a necessary navigation tool on a website, it is important that they are easily visible and easy to click. Surrounding links with a lot of white space means that the link you want can be clicked, not another. It’s especially important to make the call-to-action buttons large and have enough space to tap with your fingers.

Use contrasting colors

While branding a website and making it visually appealing is paramount, it can be an obstacle to reading text for older people. Black text on a white or pale cream background is the easiest to read on the screen. A simple color palette also makes navigating the page more logical.

Most people access the internet using a smartphone or tablet.

Pop-up explainer

A Nielson Norman Group study of website usability for people over 65 had a 50% success rate. On average, it took them almost five minutes more to move through the page and four times more mistakes. People over the age of 65 showed discomfort when trying new things and were more likely to give up than looking for help and support on the website, for example from a chatbot.

Therefore, it is a good idea to provide simple pop-up explainers for first-time users. Again, when you add a new element to your website, it should be accompanied by a brief explanation of what it is and how it is used.

Simplify

Ultimately, the role of your website is to be as simple as possible for your target market. If your audience is seniors, the simplicity of the design and basic use of color, font, and white space will make your website navigable. The more you think about your customers’ needs, the more loyal they are to your brand.

Author: admin

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