There are two distinctive characteristics of older people who do not know how to operate online government. Firstly, most of them are insecure and therefore remain reluctant to use electronic programmes. Another small group is not interested in this online form of public service. These are the conclusions of a study published in the International Journal of E-Government Studies entitled “Perceptions and attitudes of Spain’s “digital elderly” towards e-government”, by researchers Leopoldo Abad and María Sánchez Valle from the University of San Pablo in Central Europe, together with Carmen Llorente, a professor at the Complutense University of Madrid. Using a telephone survey of 405 Internet users aged 60 to 79, the BRECH-DIG researchers created a typology of surfers based on a cluster analysis of their behaviour and perceptions of e-government.
In order to make better use of the public administration’s e-services, older people asked for a simplified content and design of the website; a version adapted to their needs; the inclusion of a help assistant when they go through the procedures; and training for older groups in their use; a request for a unified password and a single access key, etc.