Zeno's Paradox
While critical thinking may not make up for a lack of knowledge, it is essential for gaining knowledge.
Wednesday, September 24, 2003:  
Human Factors:
Eight Lessons Learned (When Designing for Seniors) (Older Wiser Wired - AARP)

Looks like Tom Tullis has written better advice for designing for seniors that I had planned for my followup to Designing for Seniors (Part 1): Findings from a usability test. Here are his main points with a few comments:

  • Older adults tend to read most of the text on a page.

  • Older users tend to be more cautious in everything they do on the web, including clicking on links.

  • Even though it may not significantly improve overall performance, older users prefer larger text.
    I'm awaiting a response from Tom on why he chose this wording. In general, older users will have greater difficulty with small text, which can dramatically affect performance, especially when they cannot read the text at all!

  • Older users are more likely to click objects that look "clickable", including bullets, headings, etc. and have difficulty clicking small text links.

  • Numerous experiential differences contribute to older users' overall level of confidence and anxiety in using the web.

  • Older users often do not understand terms that younger users consider common knowledge.

  • As people age, they have an increased likelihood of disabilities, including visual (myopia, cataracts, etc.), fine motor (tremors in hands), muscular/skeletal (bone disease like arthritis), and cognitive (short-term memory decreases).

  • Older users have difficulty working with pages that are dense or have too much detail.
In general, seniors are more sensitive to poor design. Designing for seniors then is not as much an issue of designing for special needs as as it is just designing better. However, special care does need to be taken to accomodate their vision. As well as the need for larger text, they have more difficulty with poor contrast in images or text, as well as distinguishing between colors that only differ by the amount of blue in them.

References on Designing for Seniors:
Creating Senior-Friendly Web Sites - Center for Medicare Education (Large PDF file, 130kb)

Making Your Web Site Senior Friendly - National Institute on Aging
and the National Library of Medicine (Large PDF file, 174kb)

Interface Design Guidelines for Users of All Ages - AgeLight LLC (Large PDF file, 90kb)

Designing for the Elderly - Dr. Bob Bailey

The Aging Eye - ERGO/GERO

    -  Ron  7:11 PM

Tuesday, September 23, 2003:  
Management, Human Factors, Critical Thinking:
New Organization for Designers Forming:
It appears that the new organization I mentioned earlier is focusing on self-promotion and mutual support without any thought or concern for self-improvement. They're so confident in the quality and value of their work that it's unimportant to improve. That decided, I will no longer be involved.

They have a website now, summarizing their decisions. Currently, they have working drafts (supposedly) defining their members, the organization, and their goals. Unfortunately, their definitions aren't actually definitions but more statements of purpose. Their goals are nothing more than to get more recognition for their (assumed) value.

Another granfalloon is born.

    -  Ron  11:53 AM

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