There was an interesting article in The Telegraph technology blog last week titled “Businesses still don’t ‘get’ social media – and its 40-year-old marketing directors that are to blame”. This provocative title led to interesting levels of reaction most of which debated the fact that the cut off was at 40, or in fact that an age was stated in the first place.
As a User Experience consultant I thought this was fascinating, we conduct testing projects that span from websites to mobile phones and games, and from young adults through to the retired, and we do sometimes see a difference in results depending on the age of the participant and we recruit them purposefully within age groups. But is there really a significant older generation segment in-between the age of 40 and past retirement when it comes to different types of technologies? And are there different design needs and requirements that need to be considered for this group?
I am particularly interested in all of this, specifically the user experience of mobile phones, because as well as my work with Webcredible I am also working towards a Masters project at City University, which aims to improve usability and usefulness of mobile phones and mobile apps for the over 55’s. To do this I need to do some user research – so if you are over 55 and own a mobile phone then please can you help me with this independant study and fill in a quick mobile users survey!
Do you have any thoughts or experience about mobile phone usability or user experience for the over 55’s? Please leave a comment below I would be really interested to find out…