Over the last few months I have been chewing on issues of usability and age. Their is this cliched view that young people are “good at computers” and the older generation (we’ll say 60 and up) are just never going to figure them out.
I don’t buy it.
For one thing, I don’t believe there is a failure of the older generation to understand technology. A well designed UI should be able to accommodate the needs of all users. Even if there are generational biases toward new technologies, we designers should still be attempting to reach out to an older generation of technology users. There are at least two good reasons to make an effort.
1. If it’s simply true that, as you good older, new technology becomes harder to learn, then we need to design better UI’s so that we don’t wake up at 60 and realize we can’t access iTunes.
2. The Boomers and others over 60 WANT to play with the new technologies that are being developed. If we’re not trying to meet their needs then we are leaving money on the table.
I hope to explore this issue further in my blogging and my own work.
Thoughts?Tags: age, Design, UI