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)


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.


Social Media Social Networking Elder Adults 


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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

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