Blue is the number one preferred color by all age groups and all genders and all ethnicities. Navy blue, sky blue, and aquamarine are particular favorites of seniors. Blue is a restful color with a calming effect.
Warm colors help create an atmosphere of coziness and security, which elderly people usually prefer. Rich colors like shades of gold, mustard, orange and yellow help bring in warmth and intimacy.
To make it easier for reading, stick with very dark type on a white background. Avoid patterned backgrounds. Avoid using very glossy paper as it creates glare that can make reading hard.
Summary: In people with normal vision (or corrected-to-normal vision), visual performance tends to be better with light mode, whereas some people with cataract and related disorders may perform better with dark mode.
“As for fonts, sans serif fonts are best,” recommends Dana. “Older adults and people with low vision have less difficulty processing type faces like Arial or Helvetica. Without the serifs, it’s easier to recognize characters. The thing you’ll hear the most from older adults, though, is to make the type larger.
Elderly persons may have difficulty distinguishing between colors. They need three times the amount of light to see, but are sensitive to glare. Colors such as red, green, yellow or blue will appear muted to the elderly eye.
Even in the absence of disease, age brings with it declining vision. Aging eyes lose the ability to discriminate pale colors, making yellows and other pastels appear white. They are also unable to differentiate shades of blue, green, and purple as these cooler colors can read gray.
3. Aim for contrast
Schneck, PhD, and colleagues of The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco. They write, “We find the color discrimination declines with age and that the majority of color defects among the older population are of the blue-yellow type.”
The main rule of thumb is that app users should not have trouble recognizing different, but similar colors, such as shades of blue and purple. For example, if you have to choose between a simple and patterned background for an app, opt for the simple version.
In dark mode, your pupil needs to expand to let in more light. When you see light text on a dark screen, the edges of it seem to bleed into the black background. This is called the halation effect (via Make Tech Easier) and it reduces the ease of reading. Remember, the eye is made up of muscles.
In theory, this is because default screen settings expose you to more blue light after dark, disrupting your circadian rhythm and suppressing melatonin, the hormone that signals your body that it’s bedtime. Dark mode may also be easier to read, especially when you’re in a room with the lights off.
Black text on a white background is best, since the color properties and light are best suited for the human eye. That’s because white reflects every wavelength in the color spectrum. The reason it’s easy to see white isn’t unlike why we recommend wearing sunglasses when there’s snow on the ground.
Arial. As my TVI once explained, Arial is one of the best fonts for vision impairment because every letter is simple and looks different from the other letters, and it also looks fantastic in bold type.
What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (10 Top Options)
When designing for older adults, particularly those over the age of 70, keep gestures simple to perform. Forget complex gestures that require more than two fingers (those can be a pain to master regardless of age). Simple horizontal, vertical, or diagonal movement is fine, as these are all natural motions.