barbara gundl

Krisen im Alter

start page of the website

In this project Daniel Stein and I got to work on something you do not come across every day: A suicide prevention website for elderly people. Did you know that more than 1/3 of suicides in Austria are committed by people who are older than 65 years? I didn’t. Apparently, this is some kind of taboo issue that we rarely talk or even think about, so it was all the more important to create this website. It provides information and support for three main target groups: suicidal elderly people themselves, caring relatives and professional nurses.

In order to directly address users and guide them towards the information they are looking for, we came up with some kind of decision tree structure: The home page starts with a big statement and depending on which answer buttons the users click, they are led to different parts of the website. Of course, everything is also accessible via the menu, so everybody should find their way.

decision tree for interaction

Designing for elderly people meant choosing clear typefaces, big font sizes, soft colors with always enough contrast and making possible interactions clearly visible. Apart from these choices, we kept the design very simple and unobtrusive, so that the users could really focus on the content. Our usability tests revealed some minor issues, but in general they showed that elderly people with various levels of computer expertise could interact very well with the website (and of course we fixed the problems).

On the whole, this was an extremely interesting project because not only did I have to design within a restrained set of possibilities, but I could also get a deeper understanding of what problems elderly people face and how to deal with these issues.

subpage with causes for suicide of elderly people tips for suicide prevention