‘Designing Optimal Digital Experiences’ Series: Part I

June 21, 2021

Shifting Perspective: Know Thy Audience

Successful senior living providers understand the power of a clean website design paired with an accessible and easy-to-navigate digital experience to improve conversion rates and accelerate lead generation. As shoppers shift to online-centric search behavior, the competition to deliver optimal experiences and useful information is heavier than ever before.

If you want to stand out above the rest in a Post-COVID landscape, then your online platforms should offer your audience more than just a user-friendly experience. Your website should showcase your community, offer multiple funnels for engagement and incorporate resources that serve to improve the customer’s journey to find the right senior living fit. When you design a smooth digital customer journey, you’re setting both you and your audience up for success.

The Adage Marketing Group knows what it takes to create a memorable customer journey and how to connect your message with the ideal audience. We focus on reviewing industry best practices and distilling them into actionable insights so you can implement them for your organization. We’re here to help you take your site and brand to the next level with a THREE PART SERIES on designing the optimal digital brand experience for your audience. 

To make using your site a positive experience, you’ll need to understand the behavioral trends of your audience. There’s a variety of tools and strategies that can help you collect data about your audience that will show how they use the site. Data analysis is crucial to understanding your site’s strengths and where you can improve the customer’s experience. Let’s break this down and examine some areas where UX design and audience go hand in hand. 

Map Your Website With Your Audience In Mind

While your site may be up to date with current UX standards, it’s important to take a step back and ask who these standards are for. A person who grew up using technology may be able to use your site with ease, but your audience may be more diverse. You can make your website usable to every member of your audience when you prioritize their experience. 

As you keep this goal in mind, you will be able to identify key points about them. Age, purpose, and common issues they face are just a few ways to build possible personas that will teach you more about your audience. Let’s consider two common user types…

The Adult Child Influencer

Perhaps their parents are not in need of care currently, but have expressed an openness to moving into a senior living community. Often, in the early stages of the ‘search’ for senior living, an adult child will do information gathering, prior to serious discussion. Does your site show that user where their parents would thrive? Or, in the event of a health crisis or unexpected diagnosis; that adult child could be looking for a community to move their loved one as quickly as possible. In this case, there is a shift from gathering information to problem-solving. Does your site answer their biggest question: Where will their loved one get the best care? While someone in this demographic may be between semi-comfortable and comfortable when using technology, be aware that they may still fall victim to ‘new features’ that ultimately hinder their experience.

The Senior Prospect or Influencer 

Many seniors prefer to do their own information gathering, and research reinforces that older adults are embracing technology for research purposes. Particularly in the care of a spouse, an adult child will not be alone in looking online for care solutions. In a U.K. study that examined senior technology use, they found that: 

  • 58% of people age 65 and up have increased their technology use over the past six months
  • 42% of that group find technology is easy to use
  • 13% say that they have a frustrating experience when going online

The COVID-19 pandemic may have emboldened seniors to use technology on a more often or even regular basis, as a means of ordering groceries, communicating with family, or staying up to date with what was going on in the world. While more seniors are downloading apps and engaging with brands online, remember that they are brick-and-mortar shoppers. The concept of collapsing navigation bars, inter-connected relationships between pages, and even clickable images may be entirely new to this audience. 

Remove Roadblocks to Conversion

When examining this part of your audience from a digital marketing perspective, you’ll need to consider possible roadblocks that could impede their ability to access and use your site and how you can remove those roadblocks. Here are several problems that can impede a senior’s user experience from Senior Living Foresight

Small Text. When someone’s eyesight isn’t strong, looking at a website with a tiny font, reverse type, or difficult typefaces can make the experience frustrating and unsuccessful. To make sure these complications do not hinder your audience, use larger fonts on a white background so the text stands out. 

Complicated Content. If the content is filled with industry jargon, then the person on your site may not understand the information. Content should be easy to read and understand. In some cases, you may need to use a term that isn’t commonly known. Providing definitions for those terms will allow your audience to understand the content. 

Unclear Navigation. Your audience should be able to get to the page they want with ease. Take factors like motor coordination and difficulty with making precise clicks into consideration. Single clicks to use arrows and access hyperlinks can help people get from Point A to Point B with ease. Allowing keyboard arrows to move through the site includes those who may not be able to use a mouse. 

Can’t Find Desired Information. When someone is reading text on a screen, they’re likely to scan for the information they want. They don’t want to sift through large blocks of text and if they realize the answer to their question is on another page, they should be able to find it easily. Intuitive navigation with consistent organization and clear ways to move from page to page will allow your audience to find the information they need. 

When you make your site accessible to those who may have impaired vision, decreased motor function, or those who aren’t as confident with technology, you’re creating an inclusive environment that will provide your audience with a positive user experience – expanding your audience and brand reach. Now that the audience’s experience is foremost in everyone’s minds and the commitment to enhancing their experiences is made, stay tuned for Part II: Understanding Online Behavior to Identify Interest & Bolster Engagement.

Connect with Solutions 

A user-friendly, intuitive site made with your audience’s needs and behaviors in mind will give you the opportunity to increase user engagement and improve customer satisfaction. We’re dedicated to helping brands elevate their sites so they can best serve their audience. The Adage Marketing Group is ready to TAG in!

Need a fresh perspective on the digital user experience with your brand? Reach out to our team to schedule a free consultation.