Older people form a large percentage of the total web user base. Unfortunately, not much thought is put into how websites might be made more accessible to users over 70. This often leaves a sizable amount of surfers somewhat baffled – and therefore uninterested – in many websites. Here are a few tips for web developers that want to make their sites more easily accessible to older audiences.
Allow Text To Scale
Many older internet users may have deteriorating vision. This need not be a problem when surfing the web. The amazing Web Accessibility Initiative has released several sets of guidelines for designing websites for people with limited eyesight. One of the simplest measures that can be taken is to plan for scalability. Older users are used to zooming websites in order to read text. Doing so is all well and good, but if the website is not scalable, then it will lose its structure and become confusing and garbled. Make sure to design a website with scalability in mind so that it can be enhanced by a visually impaired visitor without jumbling up wildly. For a web design agency that can help you produce a scalable and accessible site, check out https://www.altagency.co.uk/services/development/wordpress/.
Provide Alternatives To Text CAPTCHA
Completely Automated Public Turing tests to tell Computers and Humans Apart – or CAPTCHA for short – is oft used authentication tests used to prevent bots from gaining access to websites that allow for user input. CAPTCHA tests most often take the form of an obscured word or words hidden in a glitchy background. This is all well and good but can entirely prevent older people with any kind of cognitive impairment from accessing a site. If you need to authenticate visitors as humans, allow for an alternative to text CAPTCHA. Image CAPTCHA is becoming especially popular. Users can be authenticated by, say, selecting all images which contain a certain object. This is far more accessible than the deliberately disorientating text CAPTCHA tests.
Make Things (Relatively) Predictable
Modern web designers tend to lean into unpredictability. This is understandable: nobody wants to create something that is entirely conventional and unsurprising. Unfortunately, older users can be thrown off by flashy and unpredictable processes. This isn’t to say that there should be no innovative and creative edge to a website design. Instead, it is important to make processes make perfect sense. This is especially true when designing a navigation system. Ensuring that each navigational button leads to the correct place and that there are no hidden or labyrinthine areas of the site can help cut down on confusion.
Allow Animations To Be Stopped
Plenty of modern websites utilize animations that constantly run in the background. These can really make a website pop off the screen, but they can also be incredibly disorientating or distracting for visitors who have experienced any kind of cognitive condition. Incorporating some way of pausing all page animations with one click is a great way of ensuring that your website is still navigable.