Advertisement

An Accessibility Evaluation of Social Media Websites for Elder Adults

  • Jessica Arfaa
  • Yuanqiong (Kathy) Wang
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8531)

Abstract

Elder adults account for only a small portion of social networking site users despite the numerous benefits provided by social media. Although the number of elder users has grown in the past few years, many are not engaged with social media. Are there any special reasons for the elderly not to take advantage of social media? Are there any accessibility and usability challenges for the elderly to use social media? What are they? How do current social networking sites perform when it comes to accessibility for the elderly? This paper reports the preliminary findings to the above questions based on an instructor’s notes on the discussions within an elderly computer class along with an accessibility evaluation of popular social media sites. The results show that many elders struggle with the understanding of Web 2.0 concepts and interpreting the complex layout of the social networking sites. Many sites do not adhere to respected accessibility standards and guidelines. Findings from this study will contribute to the understanding of the elder adults as a user group and improving the design of a more accessible website for the elderly.

Keywords

Social Media Social Networking Elder Adults 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
    Becker, S.: E-government usability for older adults. Communications of the ACM 49, 102–104 (2005)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brossoie, N., Roberto, N., Willis-Walton, S., Reynolds, S.: Report on baby boomers and older adults: Information and service needs. Polytechnic Institute and State University, Center for Gerontology, Blacksburg (2010)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gatto, S., Taka, S.: Computer, internet, and E-mail use among older adults: Benefits and barriers. Educational Gerontology 34, 800–811 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Graf, P., Li, H., McGrener, J.: Technology usability across the adult lifespan. In: HCI, vol. 2 (2005)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hawthorn, D.: Possible implications of aging for interface designers. Interacting with Computers 12(5), 507–528 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
    Ke, F., Xie, K.: Toward deep learning for adult students in online courses. The Internet and Higher Education 12, 136–145 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lerman, K., Jones, L.: Social browsing on Flickr. In: ICWSM (2007); Oblinger, D., Oblinger, J.: Is It Age or IT: First Steps Toward Understanding the Net Generation. EDUCAUSE (2012)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Oblinger, D., Oblinger, J.: Is It Age or IT: First Steps Toward Understanding the Net Generation. In: EDUCAUSE (2012)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
  15. 15.
    Saunders, E.: Maximizing computer use among the elderly in rural senior centers. Educational Gerontology 30, 573–585 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
  17. 17.
    Wagner, N., Hassanein, K., Head, M.: Computer use by older adults: A multi-disciplinary review. Computers in Human Behavior 26, 870–882 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Arfaa
    • 1
  • Yuanqiong (Kathy) Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer & Information SciencesTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

Personalised recommendations