For users with visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive impairment, A / B testing and user feedback can help you develop websites and applications.
Great innovations have helped make our lives longer and open the world to us. User experience has played a big role in this by making online content accessible to most. To achieve full accessibility, UX must go another mile and focus on an age group that is often overlooked: users over 65 years of age.
Internet penetration increased by 371% for people over 65
It is no secret to anyone that Internet penetration is close to the full realization of its potential, especially considering the population under 50 years old. Interestingly, the age group with the highest growth rate increased from 14% to 66% in 2000 by 2018 and these are people over 65 years old!
But what does it mean? That users who use our content on the Internet are more diverse than we think, and that different age groups have different goals and needs. In addition, another key trend in demography needs to be considered: the fast-growing population over 65 years of age.
By 2035, people in the 65+ category will be the largest age group
In Western economies, one of the main trends is the aging of the population, which is a demographic shift that has never happened. The United States Census Bureau estimates that in the United States alone, the number of people over 65 should exceed the number of 18-year-olds by 2035. It also represents a significant change in how web content is consumed, since the user interface that we currently offer is often one for all and created to first reach a younger audience and not adapt to the changing demographics.
User behavior varies by age group
User behavior changes significantly with age. The depth of organic research increases with age, as older users often compare several results and even spread the research to other pages, rather than just focusing on the results on the first page.
In other words, the way we interact and perceive the network changes with age, suggesting that a broader approach should be considered to better serve a wider audience. Therefore, we have gathered several key points for improving UX among different age groups, focusing on issues that may occur more often with age, such as vision, hearing, motor and cognitive impairment.
As the population is slowly aging, this means that some visual elements on the web pages need to be improved to further improve the overall user experience:
Font. The main thing to keep in mind is the font families and font size, which directly affect readability. As a rule, 16px is considered an acceptable font size. As for the font families, also remember to use decorative texts sparingly, for example, highlighting only the key points.
Space and line height. Line height is another key element in improving readability, especially for older users. Since the default HTML line height is too low, it is recommended to add a little more space between the lines, increasing it to 140%.
Empty space can be a good ally, and can also make the text more legible, reducing stress levels and improving the reader’s attention.
Contrast. To follow the recommendations, it is important to avoid light gray on a white background and limit the use of bright colors (yellow and pink) as much as possible. Modern screens are also useful in this case, making it easier to read texts due to the improved quality of the displays. You can also add high-contrast accessibility buttons.
Images. It is important to remember that adding text to images is not only good for SEO, but also for readers. In addition, when optimizing SEO images, it is recommended to use alt-attributes to add descriptive context to images, which makes pages more convenient for search engines.
Captcha It's no secret that phony traffic is constantly growing, with some estimates saying that bad bots traffic is now 20% of global traffic. To cope with this trend, several (and increasingly complex) CAPTCHAs were developed, trying to restrict access to bots without causing harm to ordinary users.
Google was at the forefront of this battle, helping webmasters fight spam bots and other malicious software.
According to the National Institute of Aging, about one in three people aged 65-74 years have hearing problems. With regard to our context, this is especially relevant since the number of videos and podcasts available on the Internet will only increase over time.
Therefore, it is desirable to make them available to all.
Problems of mobility and agility are also more common than we think. Online forms can be difficult to fill at any age, plus the call to action should not be “universal for all”, but should be adapted to different demographic groups.
Cognitive impairment affects memory, attention, visual and verbal understanding. According to statista.com, in 2016, about 4.5% of the US population aged between 18 and 64 suffered from some form of cognitive impairment. The same figure peaked at 8.9% for the 65+ age group. Here are some recommendations:
To begin with, the visual appearance of the page should be free from any interference. The evolution of the search engine home page is an excellent example of this, as it is clearly visible on the 1999 Altavista home page and the 2019 Google home page.
The prospect of implementing your UX when developing websites can be a daunting task. It should include best practices for visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive problems. To find a good balance, we recommend using A / B split testing and user feedback, as the implementation of the recommendations is certainly a good idea, but an excellent UX is built on errors as well as in the learning process.
Futureinapps company will develop a site with UX design, aimed at the future of us!