Usability Considerations for Older People: Webcredible’s Recommendations Continued

Downloads - Avoid asking visitors to download. Whether the downloads be for files they might want to keep or to install software in order to view data/information, you should make it a priority for visitors to be able to view the information without needing to download anything. What this means is that you should provide an HTML version of your content as much as possible. You can provide other formats for download but give your visitors a choice so that they can avoid downloading anything if they don’t want to. In addition provide a big print this page button for relevant information so that they wouldn’t need to save anything but print out copies of lists or forms or any other relevant information they might want to keep a copy of.

Content - Since elderly users tend to read everything written in your site make a visit to your site less time consuming by providing concise content. If you want to you can even provide a summarized version of your content and give visitors a choice on whether they want to view the shorter or more detailed version.

Wording - When giving instructions make sure you make the instructions clear, detailed, and (again) free of technical terms.

Font Size - Use big fonts (at least size 12) and adequate spacing (between each letter, line and paragraph). Since it is inevitable that you will get visitors that will still find the default font hard to read then make sure to provide a way for these visitors to resize the font easily just by clicking on an icon(s). Make sure that the icon you use is placed in a highly visible portion of the page and that the icon’s function is very obvious. To make sure that its function is understood though accompany it with a brief description and a link to a page describing in detail what it is supposed to do.

Overall Design - Remember simplicity is the key. This goes for both text and illustrations. Use colors that are easy on the eye and wouldn’t cause too much eye strain.

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