What would a digital identity solution look like for the older generations? Not to cast too much shadow on my mom, but she’s not the most tech savvy. I mean, I have a distinct memory of her in the 90s trying to flip a CD over to listen to the other side. And it’s really by choice: she is a ceramicist by trade and is definitely more interested in the physical world than the physical world.
That doesn’t mean she can live totally offline in 2021: who really can? We FaceTime; she loves watching Netflix on iPad; and in general I’d say she’s done a really good job of integrating the digital world in a way that suits her.
But there are still hurdles for it to be truly safe and secure in the digital world and, I’m not going to lie, that emphasizes. It made me think: what is a online digital identity solution for my mother looks like?
According to Ramsey alwin, CEO of the National Council On Aging (NCOA), an online identity solution for older generations doesn’t look much different from solutions created for younger ones.
“Seniors, like all consumers, want digital solutions that are clear, clean and easy to navigate,” Alwin told Avast. “The tools need to be reliable, straightforward and provide clear value. “
And while “digital identity” may be a relatively new idea, that doesn’t mean older people don’t need it.
“I think older people would be interested in a digital identity solution,” says Alwin. “Regardless of your age, it can be difficult to manage the number of websites that require accounts and apps to navigate basic needs. A simple solution that tackles a real problem is a winning solution for all ages.
Alwin warns, however, that it’s a misstep to lump all people over the age of 50 into one group, when it comes to technology – and otherwise. I can attest to this in my own family: my dad is 58 and usually has the latest tech gadget before me, while my 71-year-old mom must have been pretty much forced to use an iPhone.
“Consumers aged 55 to 105 have varying needs and levels of technology literacy,” says Alwin. “With all the variations, it’s best to provide seniors with multiple ways to interact – website, email, social media, chat, and phone. Like all consumers, the elderly are not one-size-fits-all. “
There are, however, some accessibility issues that are more common with age than when we are younger. But, as the result of design for many types of peripheral enclosures, it is likely that creating products with these in mind will help consumers on all levels.
“To meet the visual needs of the elderly, avoid using small fonts or bright font colors, make sure there is enough contrast, always include alt text for images, and use buttons.” clear and consistent for calls to action. Provide captions for all hearing impaired videos, ”suggests Alwin.
Ultimately, a digital identity solution for my mom would be so seamless that she wouldn’t even realize she was using it. That would require a secure (or biometric) “password” that would give him access to everything from passwords to credit cards to important documents. Which, honestly, looks exactly like what I want too.