Senior Citizens Surfing the Web
If you are not considering senior citizens surfing the web as you create your information product sites, you may be making a big mistake. It’s no secret that the world population is aging, and that those aging people are being forced (if they weren’t interested in the first place) to use the web for many basic interactions now. Governments and insurance companies, for example, often communicate by email, or provide crucial data as a link to a website.
Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox is a great source of research-based suggestions for website design. His recent post on usability for senior citizens (including a discussion of what that phrase means) included the following idea we can all put into place immediately:
“Hypertext links are essential design components; using large text for them is especially important for two reasons: 1) to ensure readability, and 2) to make them more prominent targets for clicking.
Also, you should avoid tightly clustered links; using white space to separate links decreases erroneous clicks and increases the speed at which users hit the correct link. This rule also applies to command buttons and other interaction objects, all of which should be reasonably large to facilitate easy clicking.”
Isn’t it interesting that we have to design our sites to be mobile optimized for smaller and small screens, and yet, at the same time, accommodate aging site visitors with larger font size and more white space around links? Personally, I’m having a little bit of trouble determining how to go about accomplishing both these goals with the same websites. How about you?