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Will Baby Boomers Impact Your Website Design?

Aug 17, 2007
If you haven't thought of Baby Boomers in regard to website design, you're not on top of things.

The first of the Baby Boomer group are turning 60 and they are retiring. Why should you care? For starters, Baby Boomers are the largest segment of our population. That would be a lot of people to ignore. And their needs and desires are going to differ from those of the, up to now, very young computer users.

The first of the Baby Boomer group came to computers late. Although they might not have warmed to the idea of a computer driven world if left alone, a huge segment of this population has been forced into the computer world by their employers. Having gained some comfort with computers in the workplace, Baby Boomers have become much more likely to make computers a staple item in their homes.

Although I am aware of the dry statistics about Baby Boomers, much of what I am saying about Baby Boomers is from first hand observation.

I live near Palm Springs. The population in this area on a year round basis is an older population than that of most locals across the country. Many retirees have made this their full time home because of the climate. And, every fall and winter our population balloons when many retirees flow to our community in RV's for the season. Plus another large group who maintain winter homes here.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because maybe I know some things you may not have thought about. You see, I know, from first hand observation that these retirees, many of them Baby Boomers, bring lap top computers in those RV's. And many who have Winter homes here, have them equipped with desktop computers. I also know, that these Baby Boomers are not just sending email and jokes. They are surfing!

Baby Boomers are not sitting by the window watching the neighbors go by. These people are busy. They love to shop, they love to travel, they have money. Baby Boomers are going to spend some of their time online shopping and if you want your share of that market, you'd better be ready to meet their wants and needs in planning your website design.

That brings us to what this all has to do with website design. Bifocals! Reading glasses! Many people at or soon after 40 find that reading is not as easy as it used to be. Even many who have always had good vision and never before needed glasses find that reading can be difficult. Anyone designing a website should know that reading online is harder than just reading a book. Whether you do your own website design, or have a professional design your website, keep this in mind. Making your website an easy read is important for all your visitors. It is especially important as Baby Boomers become such a large part of your potential market.

The Baby Boomer phenomenon is just at it's beginning. The Baby Boomer segment of the population will span most of the next twenty years. The last of the Baby Boomer group will be 42 this year.

Consider the size of your fonts when designing your websites. Contrast is another important factor. I see many websites that not only have tiny fonts, but they are often in muted shades even a twenty year old would find a challenge.

Many elements of website design are important, when you consider the needs and the tastes of the group you are marketing to. Audio with no surfer control, flash, colors that are hard on the eyes, small fonts, lack of contrast between font color and background could all be a turn off.

Considering the following five factors could be important to the degree of success you have in your online business over the next few years.

1. Baby Boomers are surfing.

2. Baby Boomers like to spend money.

3. Baby Boomers have money.

4. Baby Boomers will have time in the coming years to surf and shop.

5. Baby Boomers as the years go by will be from the younger segment of this population and will have had more time and experience using computers and the internet.

Will Baby Boomers shop with you? Or, will they find another website that has implemented into their website design what these folks are looking for, and are comfortable with? Baby Boomers will be the largest segment of our population for most of the next twenty years. Make this a consideration when you plan your website design.
About the Author
Illa has been marketing on the Internet since 1999. Featured at her website a simple guide for website design and page optimization geared toward new marketers. Advice is offered free of hype in a simple step by step manner.
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