Whilst it might seem difficult to believe that the Covid-19 pandemic created anything positive, there are a few. It certainly saw the medical community create vaccines in record times, and we are sure the incredible efforts of health care staff is greatly appreciated by all.
Something a bit more curious occurred due to covid-19 and that was the increase in the number of people going online and in particular the number of seniors who used the internet for the first time. More often than not it was to see and speak with their loved ones, but there was also an increase in seniors using the internet for other reasons such as entertainment or shopping.
This brings into focus an issue that may not always have been at the forefront of modern web design, and that is making sure that websites are suitable for users of all ages, including seniors. The myth that those online are mostly aged 16 to 35 has long been busted, with the numbers of those online aged 75 and over doubling over recent years. Today, web designers need to cater for all age groups, so here are 7 web design tips for making your website suitable for all.
Do Not Assume Your Demographic Is Narrow: The biggest mistake concerning your audience you can make when designing a website is to assume that they all fit neatly into a very narrow demographic. Naturally, there will be a majority but if you completely ignore those out with that age group you lose the opportunity of them ever becoming a customer.
Use Simple Navigation: This principle applies to any web design targeting any age group, but it is especially important when seniors are using your website. Having buttons that are easily identifiable, larger and have clear, unambiguous calls to action can help those less savvy about websites enormously. Your younger visitors are certain to appreciate it too.
Write Content That Can Be Understood By All Ages: When you write content the objective is not to impress everyone with your knowledge of jargon and fancy words, it is to inform, educate, entertain, and build a relationship with those reading it. That can only be achieved if the language you use is at a level everyone could reasonably be expected to understand.
Avoid Using Small Font Sizes: Small fonts annoy teenagers every bit as much as they do those in their 70s and 80s, so it beggars belief why some web designs still have tiny fonts that can only be read by zooming the screen to 200%. Use a font that you like, but also ensure that first, it is a size that can be read easily, and second, will look clear on the screen as opposed to being akin to some ancient manuscript.
Limit Dark Patterns Within Your Web Design: Having large dark areas and patterns on a web page can be an issue at either end of the age scale. Younger users might be put off, or their parents may fearing that the website has some nefarious intent. Seniors most certainly are very wary of dark, ominous-looking websites which are far from welcoming, so keep your web design colours bright.
Use Imagery That Includes All Age Groups: In the same sense that the colours within your web design should suit all ages, so should any images that are published on it. By that, we do not just mean that they should not show anything which would offend but if you have images of people, for example, show a range of ages, rather than just one specific age group.
Consider Accessibility: It is fair to say that some seniors may have developed some physical ailments, which could impair their mobility, sight, or hearing. As such, when designing your website, take account of how accessible you have made it, particularly for visual impairments.