Great innovations have helped lengthen the lives of our lives and shrink the world as we know it. The user experience has played a big role, making online content accessible to as many people as possible. To achieve full accessibility, however, UX must make an extra effort and focus on an often overlooked age group: users over 65 years old.
To this end, I analyzed demographic change and made some recommendations for the future of your UX, making online content accessible to a wide audience.
The penetration rate of the internet has increased by 371% for those over 65
This is a secret nobody, it is about to However, what is interesting is that the age group with the highest growth rate is 65 and over, which went from – a staggering 371% (see picture below). Statista.com).
But what does this mean? Users who consume our online content are more diverse than we think and different age groups have different goals and needs. In addition to this, another key demographic trend needs to be taken into account: the growing population of over 65 years old.
The over-65s will be the largest age group in 2035
In the western economies, the aging of the population, which represents an unprecedented demographic shift, is one of the major trends. According to estimates by the US Census Bureau, the number of people over the age of 65 will grow more and less below the age of 18 by 2035 – a year that is not that far away. This could also represent a major shift in the way web content is used, the user experience that we are currently proposing being often unique: it first addresses a younger audience rather than to adapt to demographic change.
User Behavior Is Different According to Age Groups
According to a recent Lily Ray survey of how researchers interact with the results of Google's user behavior changes dramatically with age. As the graph below shows, organic search intensifies with age, with experienced users often comparing multiple results and even extending the search to other pages, instead of focusing only on the results of the first page.
In other words, the way we interact and perceive the Web evolves with age, suggesting that to better serve a broader audience, a broader approach should to be considered. That's why I've put together some key points to improve the use of the user experience among different age groups, focusing on issues that might arise more frequently with the Age, such as visual, auditory, motor and cognitive impairments.
As the population ages slowly, it is normal to expect a drop in visual performance, which means that some visual elements of the web pages must be improved in order to further improve the overall user experience:
Police : It is important to keep in mind the font families and their families. the size of the font, both of which have a direct impact on readability. Generally, 16px is generally considered a decent font size. With regard to font families, it is also good not to forget to use decorative texts sparingly, highlighting for example key points.
Space and Line Height : Line height is another key element for improving readability, especially for senior users. Since the default HTML line height is too small, it is recommended to add a little more space between the lines, increasing it to 140%.
The white space can be a good ally and make the text more readable. , reducing stress levels and improving the reader's concentration.
Contrast : To apply best practice, it is important to avoid light gray on white backgrounds and to limit the use of bright colors (yellow and pink). , to name only a few) as much as possible. Modern screens are also useful in this case, making text easier to read because of the improved quality of the displays. To make an extra effort, it is also possible to add very contrasting accessibility buttons, like those available on this Github project.
Images : It's important to remember adding text to images is not just a bad idea for SEO, but it's also readable by no screen reader. In addition, SEO image optimization recommends using alt attributes to add a descriptive context to the images, making pages more user-friendly for search engines.
Captcha : This is not a secret that fake traffic is steadily increasing, with some estimates reporting that the traffic of bad robots now accounts for 20% of global traffic. To combat this trend, several CAPTCHA (and more and more difficult) have been developed, trying to restrict access to robots without harming normal users.
Google has been at the forefront of this battle, helping webmasters defend themselves from spam bots and other malware. Their latest solution (which I recommend) is the reCAPTCHA v3, which is not only free, but is displayed by millions of websites every day.
According to the National Institute of Aging, about one in three people aged 65 to 74 years old have difficulty hearing, which means that in fact a more common problem than we think. Applied to our context, this is particularly relevant because the number of videos and podcasts available on the Web will only increase over time. Here are some recommendations to make them more accessible:
Video subtitles : As you probably already know, YouTube already generates automatic subtitles, which are reliable enough for most videos and languages. You can, however, add more accurate and appropriate subtitles yourself, as explained in this YouTube caption guide.
Video Transcripts : The addition of a transcription has many benefits. to your videos. Search engines will be able to add more context to the video itself, possibly improving rankings. In addition, an extra copy box gives you more opportunities for internal links, for example, linking a page of content to product pages.
Podcasts : As you probably already know, Google recently released podcast results in the searches, thus taking a step closer to making audio a citizen of first-rate research. The main features were the introduction of structured podcast data and the ability to search for audio content, which is now retranscribed by Google. This makes the audio quality of the podcast more important than ever, with items such as recording a high-resolution file and post-editing, which is important for Google and the users.
Problems of mobility and dexterity are also more common than we think. Online forms can be difficult to fill out at any age, and the call for action should not be a one-size-fits-all solution, but needs to be adapted to different demographics. Here are some recommendations:
Forms : This may not seem obvious, but the forms can sometimes be a nightmare to complete, even for a younger audience. In line with best practice, it is important to note that form entries should be displayed in a strictly logical order, starting with basic information such as name and e-mail address and making them easily accessible to the keyboard .
it is recommended to use a one-column template, combined with a simple online form validation field (see image below).
Call for Action : Call for Actions Targeting a Larger Range of Age Groups Should Focus on Providing More Detailed and Focused Information about the benefits. Indeed, adults and seniors tend to read more and make a decision longer than a younger audience. In addition, it is also recommended to be as consistent as possible in the wording, avoiding Internet jargon and ensuring that the message is understandable to all audiences.
Cognitive impairments have an impact on memory, attention, problem solving, and visual and verbal comprehension. According to statista.com, it is estimated that in 2016, about 4.5% of the US population aged 18 to 64 suffered from some form of cognitive impairment. The same figure peaked at 8.9% for the age group 65 and over. Here are some guidelines:
Simple Design : A simple design is essential to reduce the impact of cognitive problems, regardless of age. For starters, the page's visual should be free of clutter, easy to scan, and highlight information that the user might be looking for. The evolution of search engine home pages is an excellent example, as it is clearly visible on this Altavista homepage from 1999, against a Google 2019 homepage.
Plain English : Best Writing Practice recommends using a familiar language, to be concise, and to avoid jargon and add space in the copy boxes when necessary. In addition, the information should be organized in small paragraphs, with clever use of anchor texts for links (avoid "click here") and filled with lists / points. For more information, you can also check plainlanguage.gov for the United States or Plain English Campaign for the United Kingdom.
Forgetting : UX technology with the test of time must also take into account forgetting. To minimize the impact, best practices recommend improving page loading speeds, making click-through links easily visible, and allowing users to access content in a number of ways by providing for example a resource in PDF format.
Improving accessibility is an increasingly important topic as many resources are available online. I recommend, among other things, the Nielsen Norman Group study on usability for seniors and the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative.
As we have seen, securing the future of your UX can be a delicate subject. This involves the best practices for visual, auditory, motor and cognitive problems, making it a broad topic for navigation. To find a good balance, I recommend using split A / B testing and user feedback, since implementing recommendations is certainly a good idea, but an excellent user experience is built by making mistakes and by learning the best practices along the way.
are expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Associated authors are listed here.
About the Author
Marco Bonomo is a London-based SEO specialist. He is involved in the planning of SEO strategies and technical SEO for large e-commerce and government sites, particularly in the UK. Marco is also an avid reader and advocate of digital marketing, contributing to various online publications, including Smart Insights and Search Engine Watch. When he is not busy developing new skills, he enjoys traveling, photographing and exploring London's secret places.