Tech entrepreneurs are busy creating amazing mobile tech solutions that make their lives easier. We are also looking to those who are behind us on the biological timeline; education apps for children are BIG BUSINESS, as we lazily pass over our expensive tech gadgets to fill the entertainment void. But what about those who are ahead of us on the timeline of life? What about gran and grandad? Are we making apps for them yet? If not, we should be…
Everyday, for the next 20 years, 17,000 – yes, that’s right, 17,000 – people from the ‘baby boomer’ years will break the 65years old age barrier. Globally we are all getting older. Granted iPhone, iPad, and Kindle are new kids on the technology block, but they are also some of the easiest to use that we have ever created. Especially when you compare them to early video players, television sets that needed the ariel changing position every time you switched channel. Baby boomers grew up in this world of domestic innovation – an iPad, whilst at first a little daunting, is not that hard to master.
Our elders have a different set of usability needs that we ought to cater for. Font sizing needs to be sufficiently large. Call to action buttons clearly defined. Most importantly, changes in functionality, and additional feature sets need to be kept to a minimum. Whilst granny doesn’t mind learning how to use these crazy new ‘smart’ devices, she doesn’t need them to make her think she is stupid; once she has learned how to navigate an app, she needs time to let how it works sink in. So do I for that matter, and I’m not nearly ready to collect my pension yet!
Our elders also have a catalogue of life needs that apps could help with. When designing apps to remember to take medicine, do exercise, or even order groceries online, it is worth keeping in mind that needs to be Fisher Price, but for a mature audience.