According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 75% of Americans aged 51 to 59 use the Internet, while 54% of those aged 60 to 69 and 21% of those aged 70 and older use the Internet. In addition, those aged 50 and older make up one of the fastest growing demographic groups on the Internet. Nevertheless, most websites, and most advertising in general, targets those between the age of 18 and 34.
When it comes to plastic surgery, older age groups make up a significant percentage of patients. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2004 those aged 51 to 64 made up 59% of facelift patients, 52% of forehead lift patients and 48% of eyelid surgery patients. Those aged 65 and older made up 29% of hair transplantation patients and 20% of chin augmentation patients.
Given these statistics, it’s important to consider the fifty-plus crowd when designing your website. One of the most important considerations involves the ease with which people aged fifty and older can read the content on your site. Reading text online is more strenuous on the eyes than reading text in print, and this is true for anyone at any age. Over the age of fifty, however, many people develop vision problems. You can and should take some efforts to ensure that your content is easier on the eyes and you can do this for the whole of your website or even just those pages that are more popular with older patients, such as procedural pages for facelifts, forehead lifts, eyelid surgery and so on. Dark text set against a light background is the easiest for reading. In addition, you can use a larger font size and also use a lot of white space on your pages to make all of your page elements stand out better. You should also verify that your pages look and function properly at different screen resolutions, keeping in mind that those with vision problems typically prefer lower screen resolutions like 800×600 and even 640×480. Also keep in mind that some Internet users aged 50 and over may not be as technically advanced as those who are younger. As such, it’s important to keep overly technical elements, particularly features requiring plug-ins and special software, to a minimum.