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I am working on a design for a travel agency. Their main target is elderly people (60+). The site should also apply for the second target group. People (late 40’s – 50+). The client also want to attract new younger customers.

My questions:

  • Is there any big difference when it comes to designing for people aged 60 + and people aged 50?
  • Should the design focus strong on the main target? Or should the design appeal to all target group, and maybe come to conflict with each other?
  • Can good design for elderly people be visually appealing for a younger target group?
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Is there any big difference when it comes to designing for people aged 60 + and people aged 50?

Technological know-how, perhaps. For example, people who are 60+ might have never used a computer aside from simple tasks, but those who are 40-50 might have some experience with a bit more. This would depend on your user-base, of course.

You should also consider accessibility.

Should the design focus strong on the main target? Or should the design appeal to all target group, and maybe come to conflict with each other?

That might depend on how large the "main" target is compared to the rest - 90% of users? 51% of users? Ideally the design should appeal to any user, but if the site's slogan is something like "Retirement travel made easy!" then I would probably design more for that audience.

Since you also mentioned attracting a younger audience, I would think that the target isn't quite like the above, so you'd probably want to cover a broader audience.

Can good design for elderly people be visually appealing for a younger target group?

I don't see why not, but it really depends what you consider a "design for the elderly".

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Aside your questions you should take a look at accessibility, as ipavl already stated in his comment. To get started you could take a look at the anySurfer website, if I'm not mistaken the label is only valid in Belgium but they offer a complete and normative checklist with code examples and solutions for common problems. Personally I think the majority of items in the checklist cover the 40-60 year gap problem you are facing.

Edit: I don't seem to be able to find an English version/translation of the checklist, it appears it is only available in Dutch and French. On the other hand their checklist is rooted in the Web Accessibility Guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium, so maybe that's a good starting point? Check it here.

  • If you consider my response useful I could translate the basics of the list and post them here. – Ziepe Nov 13 '14 at 11:09
  • Thanks for sharing this checklist. It will come in handy. It is not necessary for you to translate it to English. I can use google translate, and get the context. But thanks anyway! – user54528 Nov 13 '14 at 15:58

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