Who is that designed for?
Updated: Nov 7, 2021
Most likely, not an elderly person.
That's according to Don Norman, former Apple VP and author of the book "Design of Everyday Things" and the article The New Business of Growing Old. And, he is not wrong. When I think of products and technology designed specifically for the elderly, I think of reactive health and accessibility solutions (walkers, lifts, emergency buttons, screen readers, etc.). I think of white, sterile plastic, huge fonts, and dumbed down simplicity. Obviously, there is a place and a purpose for some of these products, but, I think we are doing a disservice to a growing demographic by not digging deeper and thinking about more than ease of use.
Photo - Unsplash
Additionally, 'accessibility' benefits more than the intended user. Universal design - curb cuts, closed captions, voice control, etc. - help people everyday, regardless of their physical abilities and dependancies on those innovations.
Despite our increasing numbers the world seems to be designed against the elderly. - Don Norman.
So, let's look for and do more. Hello Jack is determined to do just that. We want to build a product that is universally accessible, but has the same visual appeal and beauty of the best designed apps and websites out there. And we are compiling existing resources to do that. For example, we chose the colour scheme for this website using Adobe's Colour Contrast Checker as a way to test our choice. We are also designing our features to be in compliant with W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
W3C: The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international, voluntary community that was established in 1994 and develops open standards for the web. The W3C outlines their guidelines for web accessibility within WCAG 2.1, which is essentially the gold standard for web accessibility best practices.
This is still the beginning, but, we are laying the foundation for our product experience and we are using accessibility, universal design, and just GOOD design for all as our guiding principles. We know that elderly does not mean incapable.