Friday, November 18, 2011

How do different age groups perceive web applications?

I’ve been wondering how different age groups perceive web applications. I am not finding what I’m looking for. Too many of the tests seem to focus upon how *today’s* elderly perceive the web. For example: “In most cases designers can use standard Web-related terms and assume that users understand them. But in this study, several users were unsure about Web terminology, such as page, homepage, website, or the Web.”

This is not a function of age – but a function of new users. It just happens to be that these new users are also elderly.

I’m looking for such information such as contrast, font size, font type, line-width, pop-ups, amount of content on a screen, decision making, etc…

Jakob Nielsen wrote the following back in 2002

Why Usability is Lower for Seniors
Websites tend to be produced by young designers, who often assume that all users have perfect vision and motor control, and know everything about the Web. These assumptions rarely hold, even when the users are not seniors. However, as indicated by our usability metrics, seniors are hurt more by usability problems than younger users. Among the obvious physical attributes often affected by the human aging process are eyesight, precision of movement, and memory.
Usability for Senior Citizens

OK. So we have the IA perspective on it - but how about the UX? We know reading comprehension is imperative. How about more tests on what *works* in a wider sense? What stimulates interest? What changes exist in how people scan and use websites as they age? I suppose we're going to have to wait for more tests. Maybe as eye-tracking software become more and more affordable we can have more information.

No comments:

Post a Comment