When we talk about senior-friendly apps, what are we talking about?

When we talk about senior-friendly apps, what are we talking about?
When we talk about senior-friendly apps, what are we talking about?

When we talk about senior-friendly apps, what are we talking about?

Mobile payment, online car-hailing, food delivery, online registration ...... young people can solve clothing, food, housing, transportation and amusement with just one smartphone, while various seemingly simple APPs are like gobbledegook to the elderly. While smartphone APPs make our daily life more convenient, many elderly people still think that cell phones are only for making phone calls. At family reunions, when young people take out their phones and start to surf on weibo and play games after a good meal, the old people seem to be at a loss.

Today is the era of the Internet, but many seniors have difficulty integrating into this digital era.

According to the statistics, there are about 274 million elderly people using cell phones in China, and only 134 million of them use smartphones to surf on the Internet. This means that there may be nearly 140 million elderly people in China who use smart phones without knowing how to access the Internet with them. How to let the elderly also enjoy all the convenience brought by APPs? How to make APPs more friendly to the elderly is a great challenge in this era.

What are the characteristics of a senior-friendly APP?

1, The design should be as simple as possible to avoid cognitive problems caused by the complex interface.

2, Avoid irrelevant content, such as various ads, pop-ups, induced downloads or induced payment buttons.

3. Avoid complex gestures, such as those requiring three or more fingers. Leave enough time for the user to operate. Provide voice guidance for some complicated operations.

4. Senior users should be able to adjust the text size in the app.

5, Clearly explain how to use the app


In China, a number of APPs have started to change. For example, Himalaya (a Chinese app for audiobooks) has launched a large character mode, and resources such as opera and music, health care and audiobooks loved by the elderly are presented in front of them in the form of one module. Baidu directly developed an APP called "Baidu Big Word Edition", which has modules for information retrieval, radio accompaniment, and also functions such as picture recognition and pension calculation, which are closer to the needs of the elderly.

However, many APPs have embedded "care version", "elders version" and "large character version", which are not easy to find. For example, the APP for online car-hailing Didi, in fact, there is a care mode inside the APP, but in order to find this care mode, there are several steps. On the home page, we can only see a lot of dazzling features and modules. To open the care mode, you need to first click on the little person image in the upper left corner, which is very small and does not have any text description next to it. Then click on Settings, and then find the words Care Mode from a bunch of text. Not to mention the elderly, even young people have to look for a while. Same for other APPs, "care mode" seems to be just a decoration, and does not play any practical role.

The good news is that, in China the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released the "General Design Specification for senior-friendly Mobile Applications (APP)" on April 7, which stipulates that the home page of mobile applications with embedded elders version interface should have a prominent entrance, support switching to the elders version, or give a prominent switching prompt when entering for the first time, and provide "settings" in the “elders version" entrance. The release of this specification is undoubtedly a signal that the needs of the elderly are being taken seriously in the accelerating aging Chinese society.

In the future, we hope to see more senior-friendly APPs.