Making Your Website Senior-Friendly
Designing Readable Online Text
Vision commonly changes with age, often making reading from a computer screen difficult as the eyes become less sensitive and less able to detect light, color, and details.
Key: Keep the spacing, type and color of text in mind when designing your website.
- Allow sufficient white space on the web page to ensure an uncluttered look.
- Put a space between paragraphs.
- Allow enough space around clickable targets, such as links and buttons, so that each one is easy to target and hit separately.
- Use a sans serif typeface.
- Use a typeface that is not condensed.
Arial is the most commonly used sans serif font today, but Tahoma and Verdana are also widely available and were developed specifically for the screen.
- Use 12- or 14- point type size for body text.
- Make it easy for users to change the text size directly from the screen.
- Use medium or boldface typeface.
- For headings, increase the size and weight or use a color. If you use bold for body text, make headings stand out with size or color.
Capital and lowercase letters: Never use all capitals, it takes up more space and is more difficult to read.
Avoid using italics.
Justification: Left-justified type is best for older adults, because lines will start at the same place on the left side of the screen and follows a left-to-right reading pattern.
- Use dark type or graphics against a light background.
- Avoid patterned backgrounds.
- Make it easy for the user to change contrast without having to use their browser controls, such as a simple “on/off” button.
- Use high-contrast color combinations, such as black type against a white background.
- Avoid layering shades of the same color, such as dark blue type on a light blue background.
- Avoid colors that clash, such as dark blue on a red background.
- Avoid yellow/blue/green in close proximity, because the differences in these colors are difficult for many older people to see.
- Use colors to group information visually.