If you’re like a lot of people, you’re more inclined to equate technology with millennials or the Gen X, Y, or Z set. The reality is that the internet has become a central force in the lives of every generation, including seniors.
You read that right! Seniors are getting better acquainted with internet technology because it’s an easy way to shop, get information, and connect with family members and friends. In fact, a study by the Pew Research Institute in 2019 showed that 73% of people over the age of 65 are using the internet.
Here’s another fun fact—many site-owners don’t create senior-friendly websites. The Nielsen Norman Group did a usability study and found that the success rate of navigating websites for people over the age of 65 was 55.3% as opposed to 74.5% of younger people. What that means for your business is that you can expect 35% more revenue from the senior crowd by creating a website that focuses on senior accessibility.
Here are 10 best practices for the most effective web layout considerations to accommodate seniors’ design preferences:
1. Increase the Font Size for a Senior Friendly Website
The Nielsen Norman Group study showed that 18% of people over 65 struggled to read content with smaller fonts. Vision deteriorates in many people later in life. Use at least 12-point font and offer the option to enlarge it for readability. The best seniors’ designs make it possible to resize links, commands, and logos to increase your chance of getting clicks.
2. A Senior Friendly Website Is Easy to Navigate
Use more white space and break down large blocks of content into shorter sections. Use headings and subheadings for easy navigation. Use white space to segregate content blocks. Greater navigation means better readability, and it avoids accidental clicks on the wrong content.
3. A Good Senior’s Design Has Bullets and Numbered Steps
Don’t use language that’s flowery or overly wordy. Be concise and direct. Use bullets or a numbered list wherever it makes sense. It’s easier to read down a column than to follow a list that’s separated by commas. Use active verbs in sentences rather than passive verbs as in the following examples:
Active: Seniors enjoy visitors.
Passive: Visits are enjoyable for seniors.
4. Avoid Tech Terms and Jargon for Better Senior Accessibility
Seniors are apt to get frustrated with technical terms or jargon they don’t understand. If you have to use a term that seniors might not be familiar with, give it a short definition or explain it by way of example. If space is tight, you can use roll-over bubbles to pop-up an explanation.
5. Set Links for Single Clicks for Senior’s Designs on Websites
Seniors may not be aware that they need to double-click on links to move to another site. Set up your links so visitors can navigate them with one click. Also, set links to change colors once seniors click on them. Seniors that can’t figure out your links will be inclined to give up and look for a more senior friendly website.
6. Senior Friendly Websites Pop with Color
When seniors find your website, you’ll want them to find it again. Vibrant colors and contrasting colors will help them recognize your brand easily. Black and white works well. Stay away from monochromatic themes with layered shades of the same color.
7. Use Speech Functions for Greater Senior Accessibility
Some of your senior visitors will appreciate visiting your site more often if you activate a speech function. That way, if they can’t read, they can still benefit from your content.
8. Your Best Senior’s Design Minimizes Scrolling
Seniors are more likely to read all the content on a page rather than skim over it and move on. Large amounts of content tend to frustrate elderly people. If they have to scroll too much, they may think the content goes on forever. Even younger people get turned off when they have to scroll endlessly. If you consider the importance of needing to use larger fonts, it leaves you less room to post content, but there are workarounds for that. Break up blocks of content into sections and use forward links at the end of each section. The best layout for senior’s design is to place content so it fits vertically and horizontally without scrolling.
9. Senior’s Designs for Websites Make Error Message Bold
No one likes to get an error message. Error messages especially confuse seniors. They don’t understand the terms and may not know what to do when they get one. To prevent problems with error messages with senior website design, clearly spell out what the user needs to do to resolve the error. For example, in addition to stating that there’s an error or the entry is invalid, describe what action they should take such as turning off the caps lock or how to change the format.
10. Senior Friendly Websites Are Consistent
Google likes to see fresh content and new content will keep seniors returning to your site, as well. Keep your site up to date but avoid rebranding the pages too drastically. Be aware that some seniors jot down notes on how to navigate their favorite sites, and too much change will frustrate them. Worse, they may not recognize your site at all and resort to searching for another site. Keep your site as friendly and familiar as possible.
By following best practices for senior friendly websites, seniors will begin to build trust in your brand. Seniors enjoy browsing websites that are easy to read and navigate. A senior’s design is also user-friendly for all age groups. Family members and friends of seniors may be visiting your site as well.
Obviously, there’s a lot to consider when setting up a senior friendly website design. SeniorCareClicks has the knowledge and expertise in the senior care space to design pages that are optimized for SEO and attractive for senior visitors. Contact us at 954-401-9058 for a quote today!
Karina has spent most of her career working in the senior care industry, mostly as a digital marketing manager for home care and nursing home facilities. With 8+ years of hands-on experience in digital marketing to her credit, Karina also worked as a consultant for senior care businesses. As someone who cares deeply for seniors and has expert skills in digital marketing, Karina founded SeniorCareClicks to fulfill her passion for her permanent career.
Karina and SeniorCareClicks have been featured in Home Health Care News, HomeCare Magazine, Forbes, The Nursing Home Podcast, and other media. Karina is “the premier expert in senior care marketing”!