While designing for elderly, we should consider design guidelines that helps user to understand design much better.
Why to Design for Elderly
According to survey, Global population of older people is growing at an very fast rate. By 2040, people over 68 will double from 7% of the population today. As aging comes with some physical and mental changes. By following some guidelines, we can create more accomplished products that work better for everyone, especially the people who need them the most.
Content Layout Design
Aligning content is a big task and align it in a way user would understand it without having cognitive load is very important aspect of user experience design.
- Avoid font size smaller than 16 pixel.
- Use an easy to read font family such as Arial.
- Allow user to adjust text size manually.
- Use medium or bold face type.
- Highlight and position important information in center.
- Avoid dividing user’s focus between multiple tasks.
- Avoid popup screens.
- Avoid major navigation changes.
- Provide subtitle when content is of type video or audio.
Use of Graphics
Extensive use of graphic can confuse user and make it difficult to find what they are looking for.
- Use simple and meaningful icon.
- Provide icon with name.
- Avoid animations.
- Provide alternative name to image.
Use of Color and Background
Problem with color vision increases rapidly with aging. Majority of color defects among the older population. They find difficult to identify shades of single color.
- Avoid using shades of single color.
- Avoid Blue, Yellow, Red and Green tones of color.
- Provide high contrast between foreground and background.
Use of Interactions
Aging slows down our motor skills as it harder to use technology for user, so try to keep interaction as simple as possible.
- Avoid interactions like scroll, pinch, double tap.
- Provide at least 1 cm apart diagonal space between buttons.
- Reduce distance between interface elements that are likely to be used in sequence at least 2 millimeter apart.
- Provide more time interval in interactions.
Remove Intellectual Load
Memory issue is the most common problem found in elderly users. In order to ease their load we can use two or more ways to communicate same information.
- Avoid dividing tasks across multiple screens, if they require memory of previous actions.
- Provide alert and reminders if required.
Good design is not only the particular user we need to think about but it should be considering all factors for all kind of users. Using some guidelines we can make design much better for our user.