Dan Naden

Technology Companies: Don’t Neglect the Senior Market

It’s true that Amazon, Apple, and Google have introduced products over the past 5 years that are simple, intuitive, elegant, beautiful, or even fun. Some of these products are not only brilliantly designed, but they are also easy to use.

When I think about my parents, however, struggling with new (or relatively new) technologies, I sense a wide disconnect.

On their smartphones, they struggle to find addresses, emails, and a way to look up something on the Internet. Everything’s too small, too confusing, too vague. I try to empathize, but some things just are second nature for me having worked with technology over the last two decades.

Seniors crave the closeness and connection that comes through technology.
Seniors crave the closeness and connection that comes through technology.

On the computer, they lose files, get infected with viruses by clicking on seemingly innocent and helpful banner ads, and wrestle with file types, extensions, and plug-ins.

Despite my consistent teachings (thanks GoToMyPC), my parents still swim against the tide, continually learning and relearning some computer, smartphone, technology basics.

I peer into the future a bit as I see the golden generation struggle. Years from now, my children will guide me through some crazy technology advancement that I just don’t get. I’ll connect with someone much younger than I for wise counsel to remove my frustration.

There’s an opportunity here for some enterprising company. The senior market will continue to use technology to connect with children and grandchildren, manage finances, pursue hobbies, learn new skills and techniques.

Most of the products you and I use though are built and catered to the coveted 18-34 market. This demographic craves things small, portable, sleek, technologically advanced; often the characteristics that are the exact opposite from the senior set.

I know it may not be as lucrative as some other demographics, but can’t technology hardware and software be available that caters to seniors? Think bigger buttons, simpler UI, streamlined file systems, less clutter. These developments might make for happier, more productive seniors on their laptops, tablets and phones. Seniors could be reenergized by technology versus being intimidated by it. They could pursue hobbies, connect with loved ones and feel empowered by tech’s freedoms and opportunities.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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