China’s websites and apps transform to better suit the elderly

The scenario of the elderly being confined to the margins of the latest technology is gradually changing in China, as smart phone companies have introduced new 5G models specially designed for seniors, along with a batch of websites and apps expected to be transformed to better suit seniors.

A senior learns to use a smart phone under the guidance of a volunteer in Cixi, east China’s Zhejiang province. (Photo/Xinhua)

A research report concerning seniors’ use of smart phones indicated that the most daunting barrier for the group is the download and use of apps and functional operation, followed by mobile phone system setup and maintenance.

Several mobile phone manufactures including ZTE, Huawei and Xiaomi, have introduced 5G models especially designed for the elderly, who can often be bound to the phones of users’ children.

In this way, after seniors send a “request” for assistance to their kids, the latter can remotely control the former’s mobile phones and provide any help related to the setup.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology plans to transform nearly 100 websites and mobile apps in several categories, such as news media, e-commerce, financial services, life and entertainment, online shopping, and government service platforms, which are closely related to the lives of the elderly.

As the websites and mobile phone apps will take into account the obstacles and difficulties of the elderly in vision and hearing, changes will be made in terms of font size, font color, voice reading, temporary pop-up windows and text input prompts, catering to special needs of the elderly. 

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