We stand with Ukraine and our team members from Ukraine. Here are ways you can help

Home ›› Business Value and ROI ›› 6 Key Questions to Guide International UX Research ›› Simple and Secure Sites Keep Boomers Happy

Simple and Secure Sites Keep Boomers Happy

by Suzie Mitchell
4 min read
Share this post on


Baby Boomers represent a huge and influential customer base for your designs—winning their loyalty requires a safe and easy experience.

As a Baby Boomer who is seriously interested in technology, I can’t figure out why more website developers and designers aren’t addressing the special needs of my cohort. Statistics show that Boomers have more disposable income than any other group. In fact, we were the largest band of tablet buyers last holiday season.

It stands to reason that developers who want to “follow the money” are racing toward Boomers. But they need to be aware that designs that work for Millenials just don’t cut it for us.

Privacy, Security, and Ease of Use

If developers and designers want Boomers to get onboard with their sites, they need to address our fears head-on. Remember, we are a generation that lived through Joe McCarthy’s Red Squad in the late ‘50s and the FBI’s tracking of Vietnam protestors in the ‘60s. It makes sense that, in a study conducted by Burst Media, “only 34 percent of Boomers were comfortable about privacy with Internet sites that customized content, but that number increased to 52 percent when they were presented with clearly stated privacy policies.” In other words, we’ll use your site, but first we have to trust you.

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions on how to assuage Boomers’ fears and get them engaged with your site:

Before and During Registration:

  • Educate us. Make us watch the video before we can navigate the buttons. That’s right—force us. Put the video front and center. Maybe even with big bold letters that say “Watch this First for Easy Instructions.” Boomers tend to think we know how to do everything, and when it turns out that we don’t, we quickly label an experience as bad. Head us off at the pass. We may not know how to find the information we need, but we definitely know how to press play. Check out Dropbox for a great example of this idea in practice.

  • Reassure us. Tell us in the video that you will need certain pieces of personal information and tell us why. Tell us in the video and on every single page that our information is secure. Tell us how it’s secure. Tell us in the clearest terms possible. Take a look at iubenda if you need help developing a privacy policy. Developers probably think is redundant, but Boomers need lots of reassurance that their data is safe. We understand why the personal information is needed—but tell us again that our data is secure.

  • You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure the site gives us correct information the first time. Recently, I tried out a site that said it would track my bills. I linked my credit cards to the site and some of my bills appeared as “unpaid.” I know I paid them, so the site immediately lost credibility with me. When I contacted the site, a person gave me an explantion about their “datascapers or aggregators” but that was just too complex for me—the user. As far as we’re concerned, your service providers’ problems are your problems. Be open about your shortcomings. If you can’t make sure all of the information is accurate—tell us ahead of time. Tell us if the site is still in beta or infancy. That way we won’t freak out and badmouth your site when something doesn’t work right. Boomers still rely on peer-to-peer endorsements of products, so when we hear that “Steve’s brother’s wife tried the site and hated it,” we’re NOT going to bother trying it.

After Registration

  • Once we get past registration, use static navigation menus. We don’t like pull down menus and scrolling lists. Our hands are not as steady as they once were and it’s harder for us to control the mouse. 
  • Make sure you differentiate between the text used for headings and text used for links. For the links, use bold blue or purple type and make sure the link color changes after a user visits it. Stay away from bright greens and lime yellows; they are too difficult for Boomer eyes to read.

  • When a picture appears next to a link, make the picture part of the working link. It makes it easier for us.

  • If you must use pop-up windows, make sure they are large enough to fit all of the text so we don’t have to scroll. Think about Zappos: when a pop up occurs, it’s easy to read.


  • Make sure all type is at least 12 points. Headlines should be larger. And avoid using fancy fonts. Yes, they’re pretty. They’re also impossible to read. Stick with a clean sans serif and let the content speak for itself.

Plenty of young developers and designers have terrific ideas for websites and apps that target the needs of we 78 million Baby Boomers. Take a lootk at LoseIt or My Medical. They have easy to follow instuctions and clean screens with clear fonts. They have created a user experience that is attractive to all ages. Develolpers and designers who show empathy to the physical and emotional challenges of Boomers are rewarded with our loyaty.

We are a huge group of people willing to pay for apps we can easily use. We talk amongst ourselves and share our technology discoveries with one another. We love technology. We’ve been using it since college, but our demands are high. We want apps and sites that are targeted to us to work for us—the first time we try them.


Coffee and laptop photo courtesy of Shutterstock


post authorSuzie Mitchell

Suzie Mitchell,

I have spent more than 25 years working with companies developing their marketing and communications strategies.  Clear Writing Solutions is a division of Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc, a market research firm has conducted hundreds of attitude and awareness surveys examining Boomer and Senior behaviors.  I have a BA in journalism from Michigan State University, been published in numerous magazines and newspapers. I also wrote a chapter on mobile app use and Boomers for the book Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Apps. 


Related Articles

Article by Alipta Ballav
From Design Thinking to AI Thinking
  • The article outlines a paradigm shift from Design Thinking to AI Thinking, emphasizing the integration of LLMs into various sectors to enhance problem-solving through conversational interfaces.
Share:From Design Thinking to AI Thinking
2 min read

My story of how I dived deep into UX when creating soft toys from scratch without even realising that…

Article by Anastasia Damanchuk
The Parallel Journey of Physical Product Design and UX/UI Design
  • The article highlights the author’s realization of the parallels between physical product design, particularly in the creation of soft toys, and UX/UI design, showcasing how principles like research, prototyping, teamwork, and empathy are fundamental to both domains.
Share:The Parallel Journey of Physical Product Design and UX/UI Design
3 min read

Stories from a seasoned job-hopper; amidst layoffs, challenging hiring conditions, and the pursuit of professional purpose.

Article by Melody Koh
How I Know When to Quit My Design Job, Every Single Time
  • The article delves into the intricacies of knowing when to quit a design job, drawing from personal anecdotes and broader observations in the industry.
Share:How I Know When to Quit My Design Job, Every Single Time
15 min read

Did you know UX Magazine hosts the most popular podcast about conversational AI?

Listen to Invisible Machines

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Check our privacy policy and