Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why older people take longer and make more mistakes using web sites

I have a great deal of time for the research published by the Nielsen Norman Group.

Most recently it concluded that users aged 65 and older are 43% slower at using websites than users aged 21–55.

Put another way, between the ages of 25 and 60, people's ability to use websites declines by 0.8% per year.

Nielsen's blog posting offers some good advice about how to improve the effectiveness of web sites for older people (nothing that you wouldn't already know if you have been following my research).

Clearly, if companies want their web sites to be effective with older adults they need to appreciate the impact of physiological ageing. If you want to understand how ageing affects all of the customer touchpoints (not just the web) then unlock your credit card and buy a copy of Marketing to the Ageing Consumer.

If you remember nothing else from Nielsen Norman says it is that current websites still discriminate against seniors. By embracing web design that’s more suited for older users, sites can vastly expand the amount of business they generate from this population. I have highlighted the important words just in case you missed them. Dick Stroud

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