The Importance of Creative Mobile Design for Different Age Groups

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We've all heard about the fundamental differences between Baby Boomers, Gen Xrs, and Millennials. These generational cohorts were born and raised in different periods. So, their values, norms, and preferences are distinct. Naturally, they prefer different digital products. Millennials and Gen Z representatives look for innovation and dynamics. Baby Boomers want stability and crystal-clear UI.

As a business owner wishing to maximize the outreach to your target population, you need to take these psychological nuances into account. The basis of a top-quality mobile banking design service is to give your end-users what they want. Thus, you'll be much better positioned in the market if you know what your target audience likes and looks for in mobile apps, including those points in UX/UI solutions. Here is a quick breakdown of different age groups' preferences, with key takeaways for your app design.

Children

Around 10 years ago, we wouldn't talk about marketing digital apps to kids. But today, the reality shows that children start using mobile devices at a very early age, since around 3-4 years old. Thus, their preferences in visual design and usability gain significance for those who create mobile apps for kids.

The first thing to remember is that young children are still honing their motor skills. They may not be that apt to click the right button or swipe the screen. So, you need to include large, clear prompts in the UI, leaving no doubts about how this or that function can be activated.

Second, children are very visual, so you should use bright colors and appealing images to grasp their attention. Include entertainment elements and simplify the onboarding process; these are also the clues to winning your young users' hearts.

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Teens and Young People

As children grow older, their patience, intelligence, and motor skills rise exponentially. They can process more complex interfaces and deal with digital content that is not purely entertaining. However, this age group is much more socially focused than kids or adults. They want social interactions, striving to be heard, share their views, join group activities, and acquire new friends. Thus, they are no longer interested in entertainment and are not yet ready for targeted technology use for specific goal achievement.

What's in it for a web designer? A teen-friendly app typically has a minimalist, concise UI and relies on graphical content over text. It should also be rich in animation and sound effects, which are more favored by teen users over long-reads. When designing for teens, you need to focus on social activities, like sharing, group activity, chatting, and competitions.

Middle-Aged Users

The middle-aged user category is the most numerous worldwide. Only a couple of decades have passed since the wide spread of the Internet as a technology for the masses. Thus, a standard adult is the one who witnessed the rise and gradual adoption of the Web.

When designing for adults, you need to keep in mind that this age group is at the peak of their intelligence and motor skills. So, most users don't need detailed instruction on the use of typical apps and websites (though some onboarding is always welcomed, especially with unusual, innovative apps).

Besides, adults are more goal-oriented in their app adoption. It means that most of them download or sign up for an app once they understand its purpose and features, finding it relevant to their task at hand. Thus, making apps for grown-ups neatly focused and explicitly marketed to the target audience with relevant needs and interests is vital.

Another point to consider is that adults are much less attracted to animation and visual content. They look beyond these visual clues when assessing the potential value of the new app. So, your task is to design neat, brief UVPs and include CTAs in the easily accessible areas of the website's pages to grab adults' attention.  

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Credit: Toptal

Older Adults

Older adults adopt technology slower than younger users, but the number of older adults is growing daily. This age category is expected to exceed 2 billion people by 2050. So, it's impossible to ignore seniors in the digital market.

To cater to elderly users, you need to design mobile apps with accessibility in mind. People of an older age often start experiencing motor problems (like arthritis) and experience eyesight deterioration. So, they might find it hard to use small navigation buttons and need larger fonts to consume the text and instructions on small smartphone screens.

The standard font size of 12-16px should be used in apps of elders, with clear icon labeling removing all the guesswork from app navigation. It is also known that seniors have difficulty discerning shades of blue. Thus, it's better to avoid using the blue palette in web apps meant for older people.

The choice of your color palette can also make the mobile app user-friendlier for older adults. If you choose calm, contrasting colors and put the black font on a light background, you have a much higher chance of winning the older users' loyalty and adoption.

Design With Age in Mind

As people of all ages are actively using mobile app technology today, the impact of age on their perception and product adoption can no longer be ignored. Each individual using the web is unique in their perceptions, evaluations, and preferences, but you can't market to each separate person. So, using the general principles of age psychology and data from your UX research can help you create a product your users really need.

Over-generalization and the absence of age psychology understanding can lead to market failure. It is impossible to target all age groups with one product, as children need educational and entertaining tools, teens are crazy about socialization, and adults need to solve their tasks and achieve their goals with mobile apps. Thus, you should first pick a specific age category, designing the app's interface and functionality to deliver maximum value to that population, thus maximizing your product's adoption.

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