When it comes to designing a user interface and experience for an electronic device like a website or app, the best testing is how a family will interact with the design. From toddlers, cousins, aunts and uncles up to the grandparents, because all members are so very different.
You can’t pigeon hole a family into demographics, the education of the seven year old does not match the education level of the grandparent. Designing for specific target users is a walk in the park compared to designing for a family.
So who is the key test member to ensuring a successful design?
The adults because they will be the ones who struggle the most.
Although adults in families are the most educated and have years of wisdom and life experiences to draw on, you would be wrong in thinking the older generations to be the most comfortable users and educators in the family when it comes to using today’s technologies.
More often than not however it is the younger members of the family who are teaching the older generations and pushing them to get on board with social media.
Today, families can keep in touch with each other like never before no matter how far apart they may be. But this is only achieved when all members of a family can, or are willing to learn to use technologies like Facebook and Skype. I know my parents weren’t willing to use a computer because it seemed too hard and ‘techy’.
But it was a different story with a tablet, as my parents watched on with amazement as the kids simply touched clear and logical buttons and ‘whizzed’ through a process on a tablet instead of having to type or use a mouse, they were willing to give it a go.
Admittedly Mum and Dad didn’t have the instinctive ability that every child seems to be wired with today when it comes to knowing how to operate and navigate through a user interface, but they discovered that they could figure it out very quickly and couldn’t ‘break it’.
Now the family is more in touch and connected than ever before, all thanks to design making using it easy.
The saying ‘it’s as easy as child’s play’ is redundant and should be changed to ‘it’s easy even for adults’.