Designing for Seniors
Monkey needs change as we age. When the banana starts peeling a little slower, some things just get left behind. If you’re building a website for an aging audience, this is an important thing to keep in mind. Good web design is about customizing the site to your audience’s needs. One of the most unique challenges for many sites with aging audiences is to design a good user experience that meets their increased needs.
David Moth, of eConsultancy.com, recently wrote that, in a study comparing web usability among seniors aged 65 and older, as compared to users aged 21-55, the success rate for completing tasks was 55.3% among seniors vs 74.5% among the younger users. Additionally, “Time spent on the tasks was also significantly lower at seven minutes 49 seconds for seniors and five minutes 28 seconds for younger users.”
Moth believes that the quoted research indicates substantial opportunities for most websites to improve profitability, engagement and user experience among elderly users because such users are more likely to abandon tasks they find confusing. Some of Moth’s tips for web design and development with the older user in mind include:
- Increased font size
- Larger and more spaced out hyperlinks
- Simplified forms
- Clearly defined error messages, and
- Avoiding major changes all at once
Many of these senior-friendly design capabilities are available through Drupal customization and design. Of course, aging is just one way that an audience’s needs can change. There are many Drupal features allowing customization for audiences of any type. What sort of audience are you targeting with your web design?