The Importance of UX in Mobile Apps for Seniors

December 3rd, 2016 by Aravind Ajith

It was just five years ago that Boomers began to reach their senior years and for the next eight years, millions more will join their ranks. This being the very first generation of seniors in which technology plays such a vital role, it is no wonder why app developers are targeting seniors because of just how big that market is set to be.

With so many seniors now taking advantage of smartphones with all those handy apps, application developers are having a field day designing apps that will be useful and/or enjoyable to seniors. However, developers need to take a close look at user experience (UX) for these apps because what makes an app easy to use or enjoyable for a young person is not the same as it would be for someone reaching their golden years.

This Is a Golden Opportunity for Promising Young App Developers

Let’s face it. There are tens of thousands, if not millions of app developers reaching out to a young audience. There are fitness trackers, games, music apps, video apps, social apps, investment apps, banking apps, shopping apps and probably even an app to forecast how many children will be born in China next year.

All joking aside, anyone with an online masters in computer science from a top rated school like the New Jersey Institute of Technology would find it extremely easy to get their apps listed on high volume play stores and get rave reviews at the same time. But that market just might be saturated. Why not reach out to a market that has an even greater need, with fewer developers seriously interested in reaching this audience?

So What’s So Different about UX for Seniors?

Actually, there are a few things which would make an app more appealing to a senior. Many people as they reach their 60s begin losing the clarity of which they can see things. Therefore, to make the UX easier and more enjoyable, the app designer would probably want fewer icons and those they do create would be larger with more contrast from the background.

Many seniors are just as tech savvy if not savvier than the average middle age consumer because, don’t forget, these were the professionals who were in on the ground floor of the technology revolution. Unlike what many would have you believe, it’s not a matter of knowing less but physical failings that demand visual and audio adjustments.

Put that Online MS Computer Science Degree to Good Use!

If you have or are in the process of getting an online masters in computer science, you might want to get in on the ground floor yourself of a whole market that is just beginning to explode. Are you an entrepreneur seeking to start a company that develops healthcare apps? Why not target seniors who will be your biggest audience in healthcare. It is a huge market and getting bigger by the day. Even so, the one thing you must take away from all this is that the UX must be well-suited to seniors, so don’t look for flashy, high-speed visual transitions or techno sound effects, but rather a design that offers audio and visual properties best suited to someone who may have failing sight and hearing.

Remember, you are not focusing on simplicity because they are not tech savvy but rather because as we age we naturally develop physical limitations. Design user-friendly mobile apps for a senior audience and you will count your blessings all the way to the bank.