A recent webinar by IlluminAge, entitled “How Senior Friendly is Your Website?” provided a number of helpful tips for making your content more accessible to senior citizens. For those who missed the webinar, here are a few of the tactics mentioned that can be easily applied to LawHelp sites. The webinar offered advice in two main categories for improving senior accessibility, Visual and Cognitive.
Some of the visual problems common in old age include loss of fine details, loss of contrast sensitivity, and reduction in light reaching the retina. In order to make your website easier to see, consider the following options.
- Allowing your visitors to alter the size of the text with a resize button is a simple way to make your website more senior accessible. LawHelp sites have this option in the upper right.
- Use a sans serif font such as Arial or Calibri
- The color of your typeface can help a great deal to make your text more legible to older adults. Vivid colors with high contrast between the text and the background are preferred, such as black against yellow. A future LawHelp enhancement could be a “Change Contrast” button to allow the user to adjust the contrast to suit their own preferences.
- Adequate spacing between paragraphs can make sure that the paragraphs are all evenly separated from each other, making them easier to read.
- Avoid italics whenever possible, and consider bolding important text instead
Seniors may also have decreased cognition in the areas of working memory, special working memory, perceptual speed, and text comprehension. Utilizing the following tips can make your information easier to comprehend.
- Start with the most important information. The most general and straightforward info should be near the top of the page, with more detailed and specific info provided later on.
- Have clear and concise headers and titles to convey to the visitors exactly what each page is about.
- Using white space on your pages can help focus the visitors attention on the important content.
- Break your content into a number of shorter segments in order to make them easier to “digest”
- Use active voice and avoid jargon as much as possible.