Using Android is not easy for everyone.
Seniors face a wide set of challenges as the ageing process is different for everyone. These challenges are related to the decline process of physical and mental characteristic such as vision, hearing, memory, cognition and motor control. Each individual's characteristics decline dynamically through age and this decline differs to each characteristic. Therefore “one size fits all” solutions are not relevant for senior users.
The different challenges of each individual result to difficulties for services & solutions to be effective without understanding each individual user characteristics and peculiar needs. The above explain the hurdles seniors face with Android and smartphones in general as current solutions do not take individual characteristics into account. The major challenges for seniors with Android are:
Having so many options on Android becomes a burden for senior users. Moreover, the options given to users are not prioritized and that results to confusion. Senior users are lost on Android and cannot complete the intended actions with ease.
Adaptation requires time and effort.
Senior people face discomfort and disappointment when using smartphones for the first time. Major reason is the number of different designs and interfaces required even for performing basic operations. Especially if a user is not familiar with Android much effort is required to adapt.
User characteristics are not considered.
Each user is unique and has individual characteristics. Smartphone's interfaces are designed for a single type of user. Different physical and mental user needs are not taken into account. Users who struggle feel excluded.
One trend is certain: the ageing of populations is rapidly accelerating worldwide.
60+ as percentage of population.
There is a strong need for the digital enablement of seniors
Smartphones will become essential to communicate and will be the tool in order to collaborate with companies & governments. Seniors have historically been late adopters to the world of technology compared to their younger compatriots, but their movement into digital life continues to deepen.
There is an interesting report from The Boston Consulting Group explaining
Statistics proving senior users have difficulties with using smartphones.
It's not only seniors. 40% of the population is struggling with using computers!
The smartphone penetration on seniors is relatively low even in developed countries:
- For example in US as of 2016 only 42% of 65+ users had a smartphone.
- In countries like China(30% on ages 50+) and India (7% of seniors) the problem is more obvious.
- Another big research shows that seniors use the phone mainly to communicate and use the regular phone functionality in addition to consume information.
The inconvenience of current smartphone propositions is more obvious on ages 70+ when physical and mental limitations make the use of smartphones even more difficult. The problem of accessible smartphone technology for seniors on global scale is unaddressed. The problem is rather obvious either you search for facts or if you just see around you.
At Katsuna we are offering our 2 cents.