Usability Considerations: Users Background (Age & Location)

Aside from the needs and/or wants of your users you also need to consider the background of your users. Websites that have a very specific target audience (older web users, visually challenged users, kindergarten kids) will find it easier to define website design that would fit their users’ profile. However, those with a broader spectrum of users will definitely find it harder to design a website that will be usable for all their users. Some of the general information you need to know about your users include:

  • Age group - The general rule is that younger and older users find simpler web designs using bigger fonts easier to use. There are very specific design issues that arise for each age group. For websites that have users with a large range of ages it is of utmost importance that you offer a very easy and visible way to adjust the font size in your site.
  • Geography - Trends differ for each geography. It is best to consider geographical trends/customs/norms when designing a website. Design considerations that are affected by geography varies from critical things like the primary language(s) used and thus supported and to more trvial things like changing the design/interface/skin to celebrate a local holiday/event. Changing the skin might not affect usability in terms of efficiency but will surely affect user satisfaction, which is as important as any of the other four usability components.

to be continued…

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