Ann Chadwick-Dias, Michelle McNulty & Tom Tullis
ACM Conference on Universal Usability (CUU03), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 10-11 November 2003
Publication year: 2003

We conducted two usability studies that included a total of 49 participants ranging in age from 20 to 82. The goal of Study 1 was to learn whether there were differences in how older adults interact with the Web and whether changes in text size would affect performance. Users completed tasks on a prototype employee/retiree benefits site using various text sizes. We learned that older users (55 years or older) had significantly more difficulty using the Web site than younger users. Text size did not significantly affect performance in any age group. In Study 2 new participants performed the same tasks on a version of the site that was redesigned to address the usability problems encountered by older users in Study 1. The goal was to learn whether we could redesign the prototype to improve the performance of older adults. Performance improved significantly for both older and younger users.

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