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Recent studies by the Pew Research Center and Sachs Insights highlight a growing segment of mobile device users – senior citizens. Dubbed the “newly mobile senior set,” this demographic tends to have its own distinct uses for smartphones and tablets, but they also struggle with a unique set of challenges. At a recent NYC UXPA event, Tammy Sachs presented her firm’s findings on mobile users aged 65 and older, outlining how seniors are using these devices and the common usability issues they experience.
When it comes to health, wellness and travel, many of the elderly participants in Sachs Insights’ study are using their mobile devices in innovative ways. We weren’t surprised to hear that these same seniors expressed a reluctance to conduct financial activity via the mobile channel. We expected security fears to be the main thing keeping seniors from using their bank or brokerage firm’s mobile apps; however, that wasn’t the case. Instead, seniors cited a fear that they would unknowingly do something to harm their own account.
This fear of human error stems in part from the small screen size of these devices. Many seniors who participated in the study noted having difficulty reading text-dense screens and interacting with certain touchable screen elements, e.g., navigation buttons or a device’s internal keyboard. In that same vein, participants felt uneasy performing certain tasks on mobile devices because they lacked access to the training or guidance that would have made them more comfortable.
Based on Corporate Insight’s user-testing expertise and ongoing mobile finance research, the following slides discuss some specific areas where seniors may struggle with financial services apps and the best practice solutions that will give this valuable client base the support it needs.