With the prevalence of digital technologies and internet connectivity, combined with the reduction in footfall on high streets, banks have taken steps to move most of their customer base online. This has left many older adults behind, trying to keep up with the changes and having to learn to use sometimes complex online banking interfaces. In this work we investigate whether skeuomorphic design can create a more usable online banking system for older adults, compared to the more commonplace flat design. This work took a user-centered approach, beginning with interviews with older adults that were conducted to gather data to be used in the production of prototype user interfaces. Two prototypes were then created: a flat user interface and a skeuomorphic one. We evaluated these interfaces with 15 older adults, gathering a combination of data, including data from the System Usability Scale, observations, and interviews. Results of the experiments showed that our older users preferred the flat prototype to the skeuomorphic one, but raised some potentially useful guidelines for the design of future skeuomorphic user interfaces for older adults. A validation experiment with 17 younger adults (aged 20–25) also showed that the skeuomorphic interface was more usable for older adults than younger ones.
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