Designing for Older Audiences

Older Audience Inner Story

Designing for an older audience:

Contrast is key. Because of the loss of visual acuity that comes with age, many older people have difficulty differentiating various hues or colours (like orange and red). In particular, shades of blue will appear faded or desaturated. When designing for an older audience, contrast between the foreground colour and the background colour is critical.

It is considered best practice to use sans serif fonts since an older audience will have low vision, without the serifs, it will be easier to recognize characters. They will have an easier time processing typefaces like Arial or Helvetica. Low vision is a term used to describe a significant visual impairment that can’t be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery. It can occur at any age, but by far the greatest number of people who are affected are the elderly. It is associated with a loss of colour vision or difficulty adapting to changes in brightness within the field of vision. Most commonly, it is due to scarring because of the deterioration of the central part of the retina (light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye).