30 March 2006

Improve usability for older users

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putting people first
by experientia

Usability for the elderly
The UK now has more people aged over 60 than under 16. There are now 1.1 million people aged over 85 in the UK — and the trend toward an ageing population is common in many other western countries.

We recently analysed and compared the results of 16 usability testing sessions. Eight of these sessions were conducted with older users (i.e. over the age of 65), and the other eight were run with younger users (under the age of 40).

The 40-minute ‘talk-aloud’ sessions involved our asking participants to find information on a range of government web sites. The results of this research provided insights into the ways older users differ from their younger counterparts when it comes to using the Internet.

The main finding of our study was that older users were more likely to assign blame when using the Internet.

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