At Connected Living, when designing accessible user experiences and interfaces throughout our technology suite, our approach is to keep it simple and elegant. Driven by consideration and understanding of our primary user group - older adults - we believe in user-friendly and “inclusive design.” That just happens to be the best approach to engage users of all ages! In an article by Don Norman, he laments poor or unconsidered design for our aging population and underscores the need for design that will “enhance the experience of our later lives.” Mr. Norman, the author of The Design of Everyday Things and a former VP at Apple, has been called one of the world’s most influential designers. Born in 1935, his perspective is even more valuable.
We believe in delivering products that are user-friendly and also beautiful and practical for a wide spectrum of the population. Our designs are created with compassion and an understanding that many of our users have little technology experience, although that is changing with time. Our design team considers many factors and accessibility guidelines when creating user-facing designs for any of our technology platforms. These considerations include, but are not limited to: Manual Dexterity, Visibility, Consistency, Language, Simplified Gestures (one-finger tap, left/right swipe, or vertical page scroll) and Recognition over Recall.
We also understand that our mature audience perceives information differently than younger audiences. Research shows that older adults respond better to a more logical, straight-forward approach in informational hierarchies and digital interactions. To respond to this understanding, we have consistently aligned the design of all Connected Living product offerings to reduce each user's learning curve by limiting the types of interactions they must learn or memorize. We employ cognitive support by providing simple navigation paths, avoiding single screen multi-tasking and reinforcing icons with text-based instructions such as “touch to see more”. We believe in easy recognition, discoverability, familiarity, and establishing clear standards that provide clear interactions and understanding.
In our mobile app, wherever possible, we provide alternate methods of data entry (such as autofill and data sharing) between our products to support challenges with dexterity that are often associated with aging. We continually review and readdress areas of our technology for improvement or to enhance our product usability through design. Recently, we have simplified and redesigned the mobile app onboarding sequence to simplify the user experience and make the app more usable “out of the box.” Other such user interface enhancements include focusing on the most important navigation elements and designing for a variety of screen sizes for both tablets (seniors’ preferred mobile device) and phones.
Connected Living values our users, and we recognize that app updates can create user confusion. Therefore, we have chosen to gradually introduce new product features to maximize engagement. We are also committed to being highly responsive to usability feedback from our users; in fact, many of our features have come directly from user suggestions and input.
For more information about our technology-based product suite, be sure to click here to schedule a free demo!