Simple Steps for Teaching Technology to Seniors

Shortly after establishing our Elder Lab we became aware of the special technology learning needs of seniors. After considerable research and testing with older adults, we developed something we call “Simple Steps”. By 2030, over 20% of people in the United States will be adults over 65. But the high-tech sector largely has and continues to overlook older adults when designing smartphones, tablets, PC’s and apps – all of which offer life-enhancing potential for seniors [ref]. It’s no secret that engineers and product managers responsible for these transformative products are relatively young [ref]. And it’s no secret that tech executives… Continue Reading Simple Steps for Teaching Technology to Seniors

Color in Designing Technology for Seniors

Hands holding multicolor cube

We sometimes get asked about what colors are best when designing technology for seniors.  Answering this question is complicated.  To understand, you need to consider four different possible and sometimes competing goals: Providing contrast for shape differentiation and readability Creating or stimulating desired emotions and feelings Stimulating cognitive functions Getting seniors to like a brand or buy a product Different goals often result in contradictory color choices.  For example, color selections will be different if you are designing an instruction manual or help forum vs. a social media app for elderly people vs. an e-commerce site targeted at seniors. Equally… Continue Reading Color in Designing Technology for Seniors

Understanding Recommended Color Contrast

elderly woman holding tablet and smartphone - apps for older adults

The visual system serves various functions, four of which are critical in the context of designing apps for older adults: Visual acuity is the ability to see fine details of objects such as text, icons and buttons in apps for older adults. Contrast sensitivity is the ability to discriminate between different brightness levels. Color perception is the ability to distinguish between different colors in and around text, icons, buttons, etc. Usable visual field is the ability to use the whole of the visual field to perceive detail in the area being looked at and the surrounding area. In this article… Continue Reading Understanding Recommended Color Contrast