Older adults represent a huge untapped market. Not only do they generally have more money to spend than their younger counterparts, but older adults are getting online and spending that money in record numbers.
Despite the tremendous opportunity older adults represent, many Web sites are unintentionally designed to repel the very customers that might prove to be the most profitable. Consider the following points as opportunities for improvement and for increasing profits.
- Increase readability, by using larger, high-contrast text. Never make user success dependent on the perception of color.
- Reduce eyestrain, by ensuring that each Web page has plenty of white space, and by removing all items that are visually distracting.
- Facilitate click success, by enlarging graphical hot spots and including more space between links.
- Maintain high consistency, by sticking with well-established conventions for page layout, navigation, and site structure.
- Flatten the site, if necessary, by providing more information per page, and judiciously using pop-up windows. Avoid drop-down menus as a strategy for reducing site depth.
Two words of caution
- If your primary audience is young, be careful not to go overboard in catering to the older generation.
- Do solid research before redesigning. Then test your new designs with older adults.