According to a report, companies should focus on YouTube to reach Generation Z. They should also find older Facebook users and learn from Amazon’s User Experience (UX).
The user’s age is a factor in their expectations, comfort, and relationship with a website’s User Experience (UX).
According to our 2019 research, Facebook was the most visited website by all generations except for those in Generation Z, ages 18-24 who preferred YouTube. While video content has been growing in popularity across all age groups and is particularly popular with younger viewers, a video-centric approach to the internet is especially appealing.
Generation Z believed pop-up ads were the worst thing about a website. Every generation else found website unreliability frustrating.
This report can be used by businesses to find out how different generations view top websites. It also provides tips on how to design websites that better engage your target audience.
- Facebook is the most visited website by all generations except Generation Z which prefers YouTube.
- According to older generations (millennials and baby boomers), Facebook use is higher among them.
- The UX ranking of websites varies depending on their generation. YouTube is ranked first among Generation Z, while Facebook is ranked second among millennials (ages 25 to 34). Amazon wins Generation Xers (ages 35-64) and Baby Boomers (ages 65+).
- Unreliability and slow page loading times are the two most irritating aspects of a website for most generations. Pop-up ads are the most frustrating for Generation Z.
YouTube is the Only Platform for Gen Z
In recent years, video content has seen a huge increase in popularity. According to Criteo, Generation Z is streaming 23 hours or nearly a whole day of video content per week.
Our 2019 research revealed that Facebook is still the most popular website among most generations. However, Generation Z prefers YouTube.
YouTube is the one-stop destination for entertainment and lifestyle ideas for Generation Z. YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, and it allows users to have continuous access to content that will satisfy a wide range of needs.
YouTube is a great option for Generation Z.
- TV player
- Music player
- Channel for Influencers
- Learning channel
Generation Z, a generation that was raised on digital media, seeks an immersive web experience that is centered around open exploration, visual creativity, and rewarding interactions.
YouTube is considered “the coolest site” because it provides youth with both personal satisfaction and social cohesion. Google reports that 70% of generation Zers feel more connected when they watch videos together.
YouTube allows young users to choose their content, rather than being shown content in a feed like on Facebook.
YouTube is more than just idle entertainment. According to Pearson, for more than half of Generation Z (59%) and 55% respectively, YouTube is the best way to learn. Google research has shown that 80% (of Generation Z) report that YouTube has helped them to become more knowledgeable.
YouTube appeals to visual content users, which is why older generations tend to use Google for answers.
Generation Z Gets Intuitive Content from Video
Generation Z, digital natives, find YouTube’s visual interface appealing.
YouTube content is optimized for mobile. It’s prominently displayed and easily navigable by tapping a finger. It is almost effortless to consume content thanks to its fluid visual UX.
Jordan DeVries (director of UX at Brave UX), said that younger users are more comfortable using digital interfaces than older generations.
“There are some very intuitive features in YouTube that are especially usable,” DeVries stated that if you are that age, these patterns of design on phones are simply ingrained.
Young users can use digital familiarity more easily and intuitively access video content.
DeVries stated that an older person wouldn’t have been taught those universal, inherent principles of touching and wiping. This is where you can see the differences in behavior. Younger people struggle less.
According to Nielsen Norman, Young people are very confident in their ability to navigate digital interfaces. Research firm Nielsen Norman also found that young people are less proficient readers than older generations and prefer text alternatives.
YouTube’s gestural user interface (UI), and image-based UX are ideal for those who don’t require visual cues like blue links to navigate websites.
DeVries stated that “we oftentimes don’t need to place as many visual cues for younger users.” DeVries stated that a headline with text and a photo is sufficient to let younger users know what to do.
While younger website users are setting the standards for UX design in the future, older users struggle to keep up. Miami Web design agencies can assist businesses in taking a more nuanced approach to designing for different generations.
Although businesses still advertise primarily on YouTube, companies that want to reach a younger audience should look into how TikTok could help them promote their brand.
Facebook is losing popularity with younger generations, but growing in popularity with older generations
Facebook is less popular with younger users.
Pew Research estimates that Facebook lost nearly 20% of its users aged 18-24 over the past four years. Despite this, Facebook continues to be visited by older users from every age group.
According to our 2019 research, Facebook’s popularity increases with age. This is consistent with the trend that Facebook users are growing.
Facebook’s interface is centered around communication, even though it supports video. Older users love the ease of being in touch with others, sharing photos, and reading the latest news from one interface.
Many older users found Facebook to be their gateway into digital media. They can message their younger relatives and eventually, they will encounter additional functionalities such as photos or videos.
“With Facebook’s video and photo experience it’s a platform [older generations] desire to be on to keep up with their children’s social lives,” stated Richard Broughton a senior analyst at computing company Ampere.
More than 500,000 people over 55 years old are expected to join Facebook in 2019, according to The Guardian. Facebook is often considered the “first frontier” by many older users. However, the UI is not superior.
DeVries stated that “I don’t believe it’s because of the UI itself.” “I believe you’ll see older people using Instagram to take vacation photos, instead of Facebook.”
These new older users are a captive audience who stay on Facebook because they don’t know or hesitate to explore other options. However, older Facebook users may be purged by other platforms.
According to Business Insider, people between the ages of 56 and 70 are almost three times more likely to share YouTube content than those between 18 and 34.
Digital advertising is more popular with older generations than fake content. Businesses can expect to see targeted YouTube campaigns that are more effective in reaching older viewers as this group becomes more comfortable with video.
Interfaces that provide unabated streams of visual content like Snapchat and YouTube are threatening Facebook. Older generations will continue to use websites that allow them to stay connected to their peers and family, even as youth leave Facebook.
According to most generations, Amazon has the most appealing UX
Website usability can be subjective and vary from generation to generation. While younger generations might be more tech-savvy than older ones, everyone appreciates a functional and accessible website.
We found that Amazon’s UX was ranked highest among Generation Xers (21%), and baby boomers (29%) ranked it the highest. Meanwhile, millennials (18%) ranked Facebook’s UX the best. Generation Z (24%), however, thought YouTube had the best UX.
All generations agree that Amazon, a well-known online shopping channel, is simple to use.
Amazon’s Site reveals the most important factors that have optimized UX:
- The navigation is prominently marked by the search bar.
- Search results are displayed in an easy-to-read format.
- Filtering allows you to narrow down your search results.
- Personalization allows users to find and recall what they love.
Amazon is also able to provide both visual cues as well as blue links. Instead of assuming that visitors will click on an image, Amazon provides a text link to users who are not yet aware that images can be interactive.
DeVries explained that while traditional text cues can be helpful, user behavior is changing. “We’re beginning to see a simplified UI. … It doesn’t mean that we have to use arrows or blue colors to denote links or interactive content.
Online navigation becomes more accessible to older users, and they can use visual cues to find their way.
YouTube has a similar accessible UX.
The layout is simple, clear, and intuitive. Text links are provided to support the rich layout with images. It is easy to find, view, and then continue watching the content you like.
YouTube and Amazon both use recommendation algorithms to show similar content or “what’s next” as a way to make their site more enjoyable.
The UX can be simplified and frustration reduced by being able to quickly see the next step and choose the next one. This increases user familiarity and loyalty and encourages more site visits.
Facebook’s News Feed content can only be accessed by scrolling through other content. This makes it less user-friendly for those who are looking for specific information, especially when they are constantly interrupted by advertisements.
YouTube can also serve ads, but only after users have selected their content. The audience is invested, but captive and more likely to wait. Facebook users will have to navigate through native ads, which can lead to frustrations for those looking for authentic and relevant content.
Businesses must be sensitive to the visual preferences of their customers to engage them and offer valuable, predictive content.
Website Unreliability and Pop-Up Ads are the most frustrating website features
People expect a website that works as expected and does not waste their time. However, expectations and priorities for websites differ by generation.
The majority of generations rated website reliability as their biggest frustration, except Generation Z who was most frustrated by popup forms. For all generations, the second most frustrating aspect of websites was slow page loading.
As you get older, the reliability of websites becomes more important. According to research firm Nielsen, older users are more likely to blame themselves for a website’s failures, while younger users are more likely to blame the site.
The perception of reliability for a website is determined by both its UX elements as well as the perception of users.
Websites are expected to perform the following functions in terms of UX:
- Fast page loading, ideally less than two seconds
- 404 redirect pages for broken links
- Mobile responsive web design to provide seamless user experience across all devices
- Chat support or contact information to resolve problems
- Sign-up and checkout is easy
Websites that are not reliable can be a costly liability, stated Tatyana Khmdamova design director at Blue Fountain Media.
Khamdamova stated that if a site is not working properly or users leave due to faulty features, it will be a loss of business.
When updating your website, make sure you have enough resources available to meet the needs of your target audience. Websites that are too interactive can be confusing for older users. younger users prefer flat designs with a visual UX.
Nielsen Norman reports that younger users are more confident in being able to navigate and find alternative sites. Generation Z is open to trying out digital interfaces, even if they have radically different UX designs.
However, Generation Z’s comfort with websites is not without its limitations.
Pop-ups on websites are more frustrating to young users than their unreliability. Marchex, an analytics firm, says Generation Z is the generation that has the “shortest attention span.” Pop-up ads that occupy the user’s digital space and clutter it with little value (as pop-ups often do) interfere with Generation Z’s quest for digital gratification.
Older users may be more sensitive to intrusive ads, but Generation Z was raised in a world that allowed content marketing. Generation Z is also eager for more personal content and expects a more relevant ad experience.
A survey conducted by YPulse revealed that 20% said they would like a mobile ad to anticipate their next great discovery. This desire for meaningful advertising is paralleled by a reluctance to have impersonal website UX (such as pop-up ads)
50% of Gen Z stated that they would not return to a site where ads were not personalized to their preferences according to WP Engine, the WordPress host.
Businesses must adopt predictive site UX as a standard to reach and engage Gen Z. It is crucial to retain users of all ages with a fast and flawless UX, especially as older generations become more demanding and familiar with websites.
Age is a determinant of perception and use of top websites
How they see and use the top websites will depend on their digital sophistication and age.
Every generation visited Facebook the most often in 2019, except Generation Z, who prefers YouTube.
YouTube’s visual UX is what young users prefer because it offers the most rewarding, linear, and engaging content experience. Older users are less interested in video and less demanding of digital interactions. They also value the more extensive functionality of Facebook.
Although there are many ways that people rank website UX quality, Amazon is the most popular choice. Facebook was the most popular choice for millennials, while YouTube was again preferred by Generation Z.
Every age group, except Generation Z, found website reliability to be the most frustrating. Pop-up ads are what frustrates them the most. Users of the digital age are demanding websites that conform to their preferences. All generations are frustrated by slow page loads.