It’s almost the end of the year. Can the first batch of “aging-friendly” apps help the elderly use their phones?
according to“The 47th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China”, 2020
In 2015, there were a total of 989 million netizens in China, of which netizens aged 40-49 accounted for 18.8%. Those aged 50 and above (including those above 60)
16.9% increased to
26.3%. Although the middle-aged and elderly netizens account for a relatively high proportion, they do not have much voice on the Internet. A series of artificial “digital divides” isolate the elderly from the convenient Internet.
The age structure of netizens in 2020 (Source: “The 47th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China》)
In order to help key beneficiaries such as the elderly and the disabled to obtain and use Internet application information on an equal and convenient basis, in January 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology officially launched a one-year nationalA special action for Internet applications to adapt to aging and barrier-free transformationIt’s now late October, and it’s less than a week before the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced the evaluation results of the first batch of apps’ ageing and accessibility improvements. How about the ageing and accessibility experience of the apps on the list? Is it more comfortable?
What is aging
As people get older, visual, auditory, physical, and cognitive aspects will degenerate to varying degrees. The so-called age-appropriate transformation is due to the fact that many old buildings and old facilities were constructed without careful consideration of the needs of the elderly. The physical condition and behavior characteristics of the elderly, their living surroundings, living environment, etc. are transformed and upgraded1. Most of the apps on mobile phones are initially targeted at young and middle-aged groups, but pay less attention to the young and old groups. Therefore, when the old people use them, problems such as unclear, difficult to operate, and incomprehensible may occur. .
Experience standards and content
The standard of this experience refers to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology“Attachment 2: General Design Specifications for Mobile Internet Applications (APP) Suitable for Ageing”, Plus personalsubjectiveFeel. The experience involves news and information, social communication, operators, shopping, food delivery, entertainment, tools, payment, banking, maps, online car-hailing, ticketing, medical, and pharmaceuticals14 There are a total of 39 apps in three categories, and 5 of them have not yet launched an aging version (as of October 29).
As the elderly get older, their eyesight, hearing, operation ability and flexibility, text comprehension and memory will deteriorate to a certain extent. Issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology“Attachment 2: General Design Specifications for Mobile Internet Applications (APP) Suitable for Ageing”From the aspects of perceivability, operability, comprehensibility, compatibility, safety, etc., requirements are put forward for the adaptation of the app to adapt to aging.
After people enter the old age, their body functions are continuously degraded, and their visual ability will suffer from decreased vision and weak color perception (such as blue and green). They are also accompanied by diseases such as presbyopia, cataracts, and glaucoma. Hearing is not as good as when I was young. As we age, hearing loss will gradually appear. In order for the elderly to see the characters clearly and hear the sounds clearly, the characters on the app interface should be amplified, amplified, and then amplified. The media and prompt sound playback volume needs to be increased appropriately. Some apps have built-in voice broadcast and voice assistant functions. The speed of speech also needs to be appropriately slowed down during broadcasting so that the elderly can obtain information.
Elderly people’s motor skills decline, their fingers and joint flexibility are reduced, and they are difficult to perform fine operations and time-limited operations, such as clicking the close button in the upper right corner of the floating window advertisement to complete the reading verification within a limited time. Enter other pages. In the app, you need to enlarge the click area of the page buttons, use clicks instead of long press, slide, drag, and shake the phone, and use voice interaction instead of text input.
Because of older age, cognitive function and memory abilities decline, and more time and energy are needed to understand and learn. As the text becomes long and the steps are too many, it is difficult for the elderly to understand, so they quit the app swearingly, and the negative emotions accumulate to a certain extent. Degree, you will lose interest in continuing to use it. When a new thing appears in front of our eyes, after selection and maintenance, the sensory memory enters the short-term memory stage, and then after many retellings, it becomes a long-term memory. Human memory will decline with age, so pages with clear logic and simple processes should be constructed so that the elderly can better understand and remember how to use the app.
This article only selects some representative and commonly used apps for introduction. The detailed experience results of some apps that are not given can be found inComparison tableCheck.
Social communication (take WeChat as an example)
As a domestic social giant, WeChat, released an update to version 8.0.14 on September 27, in which the “care mode” was introduced. The care mode can be turned on through WeChat search for “elderly version”, or it can be entered in “Me → Settings → Care Mode”.
When the user turns on or off the pregnant mode, the overall WeChat UI and text are enlarged, and the contrast between the accent color and the background is increased from 2.9:1 in the standard version to 4.5:1. After the text and interface are enlarged, it will be easier for the elderly to operate, and there is no need to worry about not being able to poke a small plus sign with their fingers.
Although the WeChat chat, contacts, circle of friends and other interfaces have been modified, it is difficult for small programs to be uniformly adapted for aging, and the developers can only make corresponding adjustments during the development process. In the caring mode, “Olen car delivered to home for nine dollars and nine free shipping” will still appear at the bottom of the article in Moments and Official Accounts, and only ask if your parents are interested. Verification methods such as slider dragging, reading recognition, and friend assistance are difficult to operate for elderly users whose comprehension ability gradually deteriorates, and subsequent improvements are needed.
News information (take today’s headlines as an example)
As the two big traffic heads of the byte system-Toutiao and Douyin, both have introduced aging-friendly interfaces in their apps, so that the elderly can use them better.
In the aging interface of Toutiao, the advertising content that originally appeared in the information stream has been cleaned up (tested on October 25). After opening the big-character mode of Toutiao app, there is marketing in the news and video pages. Advertisement (tested on October 27), the text in the tab navigation bar at the bottom is too small, and the words used in wins are easy to understand-“watch news, watch videos, watchtelevision”. Entering the article interface, the line spacing, word spacing and font size are very comfortable. There is a “listen to article” button at the top of the page. When the user clicks, the content of the article will be played in voice form, which is convenient for poor eyesight. Of users read articles.
The App has been properly aging, can you continue to work hard on the content? Copying and fabricating patriotic traffic stories, unscientific health care articles, selling hate and anxiety poison soup, and advertising three no products frequently appear in many apps and public accounts, which can easily deceive the elderly with weak recognition ability.
Payment (take Alipay as an example)
After opening the elder mode of Alipay, the interface and text size will be larger and more concise than the standard version. The promotion information flow on the homepage is only for Ant Charity, and the promotion banner is also removed (available in “Settings-Function Management -” Choose which modules to keep in the “Home Column Card”).
On the financial management and word-of-mouth pages, only the size of text and components are enlarged, and the amount of information displayed on the page is still large, which is not conducive to the reading and understanding of elderly users. In addition, most of Alipay’s functions are converted from H5 pages to small programs, which will have the same problems as WeChat small programs. The aging modification can only be adjusted by the developer during the development process, and cannot follow the app. Adaptive adjustment.
Operator category (take mobile business hall as an example)
In the elder version of the China Mobile mobile client, you can directly view the current remaining call charges and package balance through the home page, and there are frequently-used function entries below, such as “package balance, query already ordered services, bill query, payment history, contact Customer Service” etc.
The same applies to China Unicom and China Telecom, and only common function entries are reserved on the homepage. The homepage of the caring version of Telecom only displays the balance of the package and the remaining call charges, as well as the recharge entry, and a “cut to official version” button is placed at the top of the page, ha ha ha. If users want to handle other services, they must either switch to the standard version or dial the customer service hotline through the “Contact Customer Service” below.
At present, Taobao’s elder model basically realizes the coverage of the process of browsing and purchasing products-homepage, search, product-related pages, order-related pages. In addition to simplifying page elements, the homepage also adds a voice search function “Taoxiaobao”, which users can use The item you want to search is spoken in Mandarin, but because the Taobao app contains a large number of pages, it takes a lot of effort to transform it.
Compared with Taobao, JD’s warm-hearted elders version will be more meticulous in remodeling for the elderly, and there will be fewer activity promotion elements on the page. On the product detail page, the product category cannot be changed, but can only be changed through the shopping cart. If the user clicks to buy directly on the product page, it cannot be changed in the subsequent process. I hope that it can be improved in the future.
Of course, among the three, the most weird one is “Bei Xixi” (Pinduoduo), an enlarged version of the shopping guide webpage = suitable for aging transformation, there are unfinished 9.9 free shipping products on the page, which is very suitable for the elderly People’s minds. Except for the elderly consumption page, the rest of the pages are all standard editions, and there is a bonus of “100 red envelopes that cannot be cut by relatives, brothers, friends, and colleagues.”
Mobile Banking App
“List of the first batch of apps suitable for aging and barrier-free transformation“Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of China, and Bank of Communications, respectively, added an old-fashioned interface to the original app. Except for Bank of Communications who needs to log in to mobile banking first, the clients of the other 4 clients can be switched to the large print version through the homepage menu. Most of the business pages of the mobile client terminals of the five banks have been adapted to enlarge the text and simplify the components. Some ICBC pages are still standard version pages.
From my subjective feelings, I prefer the old-fashioned interfaces of Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank and China CITIC Bank. One can see the account balance intuitively, and the other is that the shortcut function buttons are of reasonable size. The function buttons of ICBC and Bank of Communications are too large. The advantage is that it is not easy to accidentally touch, and it is convenient to click, but it will take up too much display area. The Bank of China’s icons and text look very comfortable, but it would be better if the account information could be displayed at the top of the homepage instead of switching to the “My” page.
ICBC, Agricultural Bank, China Construction Bank, Bank of China, and Bank of Communications are all equipped with voice assistant functions, and they can only communicate in Mandarin. Although ICBC offers Cantonese options, it will automatically revert to Mandarin after exiting. Maybe it is a bug? CCB uses the action of clicking the icon as the trigger method of the voice assistant, and the other 4 companies need to press and hold to speak. The interaction method is not very friendly to the elderly.
Tools (take Baidu and Sogou as examples)
Baidu’s large print version, the characters are quite big, the advertisements are also quite big, the information flow, the floating window of the advertisement, the marketing promotion, and the seductive copywriting are used for fear that the elderly will not click into it. The content provided in the app is mostly entertaining, coupled with personalized recommendations, increase the user’s use time. Although many high-frequency and practical functions are provided in the treasure box, the entrance of the treasure box is hidden at the bottom of the “My” page. Is it convenient for users or to make way for traffic?
In addition to the large-print version of Baidu, Baidu also launched the “Baidu Care Edition”. Currently, no marketing advertisements have been found in the news stream, video, or my page in the test. At the same time, the voice assistant in the large-print version has been removed, and users can only use text search.
The Sogou Search Family Edition chooses to display the real-time news list on the homepage, and has voice search, and three function entrances of “health, ask a doctor, and watch TV”. Although the functions are not as rich as the Baidu large-print version of the treasure box, it will visually show the Sogou Family Edition. It is more concise than the former, and at the same time it clearly tells users that this is a search tool, not the “four differences”. Sogou’s search body has been modified to adapt to aging, but the pages displayed through the search engine web pages can only be displayed in the standard version, and there will be advertisements inserted in the search results.
I believe many netizens have experienced the standard version of Didi. In addition to social networking, the homepage includes Didi Taxi, Orange Heart Optimization, Financial Loan, Fruit Growing, Navigation, and Part-time Driver. And when you switch to the care mode, only the taxi-hailing function is left on the homepage, Hmmmm…
After entering the care mode, there are only two modules for selecting destination and common address on the page. The starting point does not need to be selected by the user, and the app will automatically set it according to the location. The models that can be called in the care mode are reduced from the original Kuaidi New Rental, Speed Carpool, Special Express, Express, Didi Express, and third-party service providers to Didi Express.
Ticketing (take 12306 as an example)
After entering the love version mode of the railway 12306 mobile client, only 6 functional entrances of “online booking, telephone booking, large station screen, key passenger report, passenger, and message center” are reserved on the homepage, and users can make their own booking There are two ways to buy railway tickets: ticket and telephone booking.
The relevant pages of the ticket booking process have been modified for the entire process, but in the “check train number” page, the distance between different train numbers is small, and there is room for further improvement in the “remaining empty seats”, such as changing to n* The grid of 2 displays two types of seats in a single row. And if the user has a railway itinerary to travel and wants to add the display of the itinerary information on the homepage, it will be clear after opening the app.
Medicine (take Dingdang fast medicine as an example)
The care version of the Dingdong Quick Medicine app uses large fonts, large icons, and a high-contrast design, making it easier to identify visually. There are no advertisements or marketing information in the entire interface to prevent the elderly from being misled by advertisements.
In the process of user selection and purchase of medicines, there is a “Pharmacist Guidance” entry in the lower right corner of the app. After clicking, you can contact a professional physician by phone to obtain medication guidance and medical consultation. In general, the old version of Dingdang Kuaiyao has a good experience.
Put on the reading glasses, install the app, and enter the standard version interface, suddenly a pop-up window of “Share with friends to get 999 red envelopes randomly” appears. After clicking several times, I can’t click the close button. I have difficulty finding the elder version interface in the settings. However, it prompts that you need to register and verify your real name before you can enter the interface of the old version, which is very similar to the old version of “Internet Physical Examination”.
The old version of the interface is launched, but the entrance is difficult to find. The old version of the interface needs to be entered from the standard version first. What’s more, thresholds are set up. According to the document information submitted by the user, the old version mode will be opened after the age is verified. Enter the old version and set many levels. Bottom-line advertising pop-ups, big data abuse, and marketing pushes make users feel bored or even disgusted. Users hope that there will be fewer displays in the app, or no ads. It just so happens that the appearance of the old version is like a clear stream, and the interface is simple. , There are fewer advertisements, reflecting the conflict between the needs of users and the interests of the enterprise. Advertising is a big source of revenue, how can companies bear the heart to cut meat? In the face of short-term benefits, developers should perhaps think more about how to achieve a balance between profitability and sincerity.
The interface and app pages of the old version will be more concise, common functions will be more prominent, and many annoying banner advertisements and pop-up windows will be eliminated, making users more comfortable. It is not enough to launch an old version of the app to meet the basic needs of elderly users. In the next step, application developers and enterprises should continue to explore how to improve the competitiveness of applications in the “silver economy”.
Reference readingNational standard
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology: General design specifications for mobile Internet applications (APP) suitable for aging
General Office of the State Council: Notice on the Implementation Plan for Effectively Solving the Difficulties of the Elderly in Using Intelligent Technology
Xinhuanet: Is a bigger font enough? How to serve the elderly with Internet apps
Minority: unable to return home during the New Year, major APPs are suitable for aging competition
Only 8 of 14 mobile banks have old-fashioned versions, and some voice query functions are useless
Walkthrough report: Bank APP is suitable for aging and barrier-free transformation, and many details need to be optimized
Mob Research Institute: 2021 China Silver Hair Economic Insight Report
Narada Big Data Research Institute “Evaluation Report on the Adaptability of Internet Platform App to Aging Transformation (2021)”
Research on the Ageing of the Internet in the Post-epidemic Era, Institute of Social Development Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Deconstruction of age-appropriate design: helping the elderly to bridge the digital divide
Baidu MEUX: Research and practice of adaptive aging design of Baidu large print version fine system
Information Accessibility Research Association: Thinking about the “aging” of Internet/smart products
JDer Lab 13 | This Jingdong 618, I “taught” the elders to visit Jingdong
Excellent design: Really dry goods! 6 details that should be paid attention to in experience design for elderly users