More information about the Underscore mailing list

[_] Usability Testing With the Elderly

Mike Adamson movingtofrance at
Tue Jun 3 14:15:01 BST 2003

Great stuff, thanks for sharing :) :)


-----Original Message-----
From: underscore-admin at
[mailto:underscore-admin at]On Behalf Of Nick Ingram
Sent: 03 June 2003 13:22
To: underscore at
Subject: [_] Usability Testing With the Elderly
Importance: Low


I thought I'd let you know how our feedback with several focus groups went.
Particularly interesting as the groups were aged between 65-78, all take
holidays several times a year, and spend money on the Internet. The key
points that came out were:

1. The various groups of coffin-dodgers tended to be very patient and blamed
their own (lack of ) abilities and failure to understand concepts for their
inability to browse around the site like racing whippets - on more than one
occasion it was not their fault, it was an overcomplicated product structure
that was a barrier to their failure to grasp things.
2. Grippers inability to use common browser features negated their access to
products, and supporting information for the proposition in many cases.
3. Unable to cope with multiple menus - separate to main navigation e.g.
tabbed sub menu without clear signposts.
4. They desire detail to support the proposition. More detail than
ordinarily necessary, but they need clear "buttons" or call to action
statements to navigate properly.
5. A unified approach brochure + website was found to be better than a

So basically...
1. Big enticing visuals, calls to action.
2. Clear signposting.
3. Simple navigation.
4. Not too much information below the fold.
5. Clear paths to information, good supporting details.
6. Page references -

It was a useful exercise, very funny at times... We were vindicated on
certain usability issues, and way out on others... So where young surfers
are looking for state of the art visuals, twenties - thirties look for speed
of access and navigation; the older folk will always look for supporting
details - so long as the signposts are clear.



underscore_ list info/archive ->
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (
Version: 6.0.484 / Virus Database: 282 - Release Date: 27/05/2003