Usability Considerations for Older People: Webcredible’s Recommendations

After analyzing the results Webcredible came up with some recommendations in order to accommodate the needs of elderly internet surfers. Here’s an expanded version of their recommendations.

Scroll bars - If possible avoid using scroll bars. Organize your content so as to fit the screen. However, since there are instances wherein scrolling is really necessary then make sure to find a way to indicate to your visitor that the page contains more information that can be accessed through scrolling. Draw attention to the scroll bar. How you plan to do this is up to you.

Technical Terms - Avoid using technical terms as much as possible. If you do have to use technical terms explain the meaning of the term and give an example when needed. Illustrations are also useful.

Links - Make each link easily identifiable by using a combination of the usual techniques such as changing its color, underlining it, emphasizing it by using a bold or italicized font, and having it change in some obvious manner when the mouse hover over it. Note though that consistency is important and the way you emphasize each link should be the same all throughout the website. Furthermore make sure the link color changes after being clicked to help visitors identify which links/pages have been visited. Aside from this make use of the advantage “attention-grabbing features” on the page such as the headings, pictures, icons, instructions and bullets pose by making the into links. After all those in the older group were found to have a tendency to assume that they are links and click on them. It would be beneficial to both your visitors and you if their assumptions were correct since it will lead them to explore more pages in your site.

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