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MIDDLE ATLANTIC REGION

Making Your Website Senior-Friendly

Organizing Web Information

Many older adults have had little training in the use of computers and the internet, and are unfamiliar with the way information is organized on websites. In addition, changes in working memory may affect their ability to simultaneously grasp, retain, and manage new information. Declines in perceptual speed can increase the time it takes to process information.

Key: a simple design, uncluttered layout, clear labels, and short sections of information can make it easier for older adults to select content, absorb and retain what they read, and avoid information overload.

Make it clear how the information on the website is organized. Users should easily be able to determine what information your site offers and how to find it, including a starting point, ability to predict the type of information a link will lead to, how to find more information and how to return to a previous page.

Keep the website structure simple and straightforward. A broad and shallow site hierarchy reduces complexity and makes it easier for visitors to learn how information is organized.

Break information into short sections. Giving people a small amount of content at one time makes it easier for them to grasp and recall information.

Group related topics visually. Use page layout to show how information is organized.

Write a clear, informative heading for each section. Clear headings give people anchors on the page and help them select desired content.

Put key information first. The most important information/message should be located where people can find it most easily – at the top of the website and at the top of the web page.

Put the sections in logical order. Think about how older adults might look for information.

Provide a site map. Link the site map from every page.