When it’s time to replace my mom/dad’s smart phone I get sleepless nights. Replacing their phones means hours of figuring out an easier way to explain to them how to export their contacts, WhatsApp messages, texts, apps to their new phone. It isn’t easy for me as well, who’s rather tech savvy, let alone my parents. This usually ends up in me doing it manually for them.
Not just phones, the digital experiences around us are quite unfriendly to our elders. We hold conferences, write articles about inclusive design but never really make efforts to make them truly inclusive.
The few and far between articles or conferences that do shed light on making experiences pleasant for the older population do so due to this demographic hitting a really high number in the upcoming years. That’s not really inclusive, it’s trying to tap on a goldmine of users for sheer profit.
I’d argue our elders deserve to be counted as an active user set and thus included in all digital experience designs, especially something as ordinary as smart phones. Only then could we say our design is really inclusive.
This article was last updated on December 4, 2023; Originally published on February 23, 2021