What is the Best Browser for Seniors?

Posted on December 31st, 2010 by

Nowadays, most of the things we do on our personal computers involve a web browser. So choosing a good browser is very important, especially for senior users who might get easily confused or frustrated.

While there are several great browsers out there, and opinions may vary, I have found Google Chrome to be the most suitable for the elderly. Here are some of the features that make it particularly well-suited for this user group:

  • A very simplified user interface. There are no distracting menu bars or toolbars.
  • The address bar also serves as a search box - simply type what you're looking for and Google will find it for you.
  • When you open up Chrome, it shows you thumbnails of websites you've visited often. So with a single click, you can return to your favorite online destinations.
  • The History and Bookmarks tabs behave just like web pages, which keeps everything consistent. You can even zoom in just like you would on a normal web page.
  • When you visit a potentially harmful website (one that is used for phishing or distributes malware), the browser warns you about this danger in advance.
  • Google Chrome updates itself, so there are no intimidating "please upgrade" notifications.

Here's Google Chrome's download page.

Extensions Make it Even Better

Google Chrome can be extended and improved via extensions, which are easily downloaded and installed. There are a couple of extensions that are simply must-have.

  • AdBlock removes almost all advertisements from the websites you visit. This makes the pages load faster, and gets rid of all these annoying distractions. Once you try it, you'll never want to go back to a browser that doesn't have AdBlock installed.
  • iReader automatically identifies the main text in online articles, and presents it in a large, clear format similar to a printed page. It also provides large buttons for making the text larger or smaller, printing it and so on. Reading articles has never been more enjoyable.

You can find additional accessibility-enhancing Chrome extensions here.

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