Technological Jargon – Usability in Web Design for Senior Users

Upon researching usability in Web Design, I came across an article titled Define Techy Terms for Older Users . While I was more interested in searching for an article that discussed all audiences rather one specific group, I was intrigued by what the article contained and felt it relevant to refer to it my own Web Design techniques as well as share the story to others. I found this article on the website Nielsen Norman Group . Nielsen Norman Group conducts research, evaluates interfaces, and reports their results. They offer training and courses and even consulting services in Web Design. The author Janelle Estes is a User Experience Specialist that works for NN/g. She is also a Primary Researcher and co-author of NN/g.

                The article talks about the use of how technological jargon is not completely necessary to use in a website unless you intent to follow it with a definition. The article also discusses a research study done on older users of the web and researched why older people had trouble understanding technical terminology than younger users did. The study determined many interesting factors. For instance, many seniors in the study learned using the web through work and were taught how to utilize it while the other half don’t use it for work and were either taught how to use it or were self-taught. Also upon asking a senior in what “email format” they wished to receive their email in on a form, some left the answer blank and skipped it.

                To put this article to test, I chose to look at the Microsoft Website . While Microsoft is a large corporation that creates different technologies, it therefore has a higher chance of including technological jargon on their website. An older user will have difficulty understanding the website simply because it has so much technological jargon and not so many definitions.  The article includes interesting aspects of usability towards an audience that perhaps has been neglected to some extent. It is necessary to be clear and informative in order to attract all users and increase traffic in one’s website.


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