Usability Considerations for Older People: Introduction

The UK has an aging population with the last census showing that there are more people in the retirement age bracket than those under sixteen. For online businesses these numbers translate into a huge yet mostly untapped audience. It is common knowledge that the younger generations feel more at ease with computers and the internet while a lot of older people shy away from taking advantage of the opportunities the internet offers. What this means is that if online businesses want to be able to entice older people to spend more time on the internet and get their business then they have to make sure that websites are designed with the needs of older people in consideration. Attention to detail is a must and web designers that ignore usability concerns will simply not succeed in drawing the crowd they want to.

When it comes to the web design considerations for older people you might be surprised at some of the factors that matter a lot to them. After all some of the factors seem inconsequential to those with whom the use of computers and the internet is second nature. On my next post I will be citing some factors you should consider when designing a website if you wish to make it “age-friendly”. Till then I encourage you to egg your parents and grandparents into surfing some sites and try to observe what turns them off or gives them the most difficulty. It will be an interesting exercise and you can compare your observations with the factors to be mentioned in my succeeding posts.

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