Please suggest current resources for designing UX for senior adults. W3C standards documents are about 6 years out of date.

With respect to navigation on tablet devices: are menu bars preferred or an array of icons?

  • Can you provide images of what you mean by "menu bar" and "array of icons"? Menu bars are pretty straight forward, but an image of an "array of icons" would certainly help to make sure that everyone has the same notion in their mind. Aug 14, 2014 at 16:39
  • 2
    Your point of view is interesting in that you say the W3C documents are "out of date". The documents may be six years old but does this necessarily mean they are not current? Are you expecting that the needs of older adults today would be significantly different from those of six years ago?
    – Mishax
    Aug 14, 2014 at 16:40
  • @Mishax with major differences in UI trends and digital familiarity between 2014 and 2008. I can see a strong argument that says that usability guidelines from 2008/9 might be obsolete.
    – Racheet
    Aug 14, 2014 at 17:10
  • Examples: icon bar; off-canvas Aug 14, 2014 at 21:43
  • Only a comment. Many older don't people think CAPITAL is SHOUTING. I still don't advise it. I have some older non technical people that review my UI and constantly want excessive use of CAPS.
    – paparazzo
    Aug 15, 2014 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


Here are a few resources:

Designing UI for Seniors - October 7, 2013
Usability for Senior Citizens - May 23, 2013

There are also a few questions on Quora(.com) that address this issue; search for 'core UX concerns'.

In general, older people take longer to use computer technology, and need simpler designs. Make your UIs simple and have plenty of space, don't squash things in; avoid complex controls where possible; include accessibility options, and use a reasonable contrast in your colour scheme.

In respect to navigation: err on the side of simplicity. Words are easier to understand than pictures so menu bars may be better; on the other hand, icons are also a good visual aid so you might want to consider some small icons alongside.

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