Touchscreen Kiosk Accessibility for the Elderly

Sometimes technology can be incredibly intimidating for the older generation and, although you may not see it, it can be a steep learning curve for those who haven’t grown up with such rapid technological advancements.

It’s a fact that as we age some of our sensory abilities degrade such as eyesight, hearing and even touch in some cases making the task of using a mobile device or touchscreen very difficult. This is a sensitive topic for many people and you will find that many older customers will disengage from your business if it isn’t adapted to suit their needs.

To ensure maximum engagement from the older generation you could maintain your existing processes but then you run the risk of being left behind by the more tech savvy competitors – here’s how to make your touchscreen kiosk accessible for the elderly:

Larger Font
You’ll need to include an option for increased text size on your kiosk and make it obvious as to how to access the function. You could increase the font size as a default but it can make the design task more difficult – a fine balance can be found but adding an option is a better approach.

Text Reader
If your kiosk has speakers then make good use of them. An automated text reading function will make the process much easier for an elderly person with sight impairment – once again; it needs to be obvious how to access the function.

Hearing Loop
Steadily becoming an archaic technology from a certain perspective, but adding the feature will make it much easier for the elderly to access your kiosk.

High Contrast Mode
As eyesight degrades, it can be very difficult for the user to differentiate between low contrast aspects of your kiosk – add in a high contrast mode to make the content clearer and more concise.

Integrated Telephone
If the information is difficult for the older user to understand; an integrated telephone to a support desk will make it far easier for them and that measure will also eliminate the need to have staff on hand.

Desk Mount
Offering a seat or wheelchair access to your kiosk is a must – this isn’t to say that the elderly can’t stand on their own two feet but it’s a nice option to offer and wheelchair access must be available; this goes without saying.

If you are targeting an elderly market for your business then you’ll need to install your kiosks in community areas that the older generation will be able to access. Community centres, doctor’s surgeries, libraries, hospitals and council buildings are excellent options.

It’s very unlikely that the elderly market will be interested in the most modern services your business offers – many are traditionalists and actively shy away from some modern advances. Tailor your content to their needs and interests such as seasonal information, appropriate social groups and events or financial advice such as benefits or grants they may qualify for.

Kiosks can remain independent even with elderly users – all you need to do is make them appealing to the market. Strip away the modern image and content; make it simple and traditional in image and you’ll engage far more of your audience.

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