Our Members Aren’t Tech Savvy

Our Members Aren't Tech Savvy

Having worked now in the association space for more than 30 years, I've heard my share of association executives utter the phrase "Our members aren't very tech savvy." This phrase is often followed with (or preceded by) "Our members are older." (And this is typically related to the members not using the association website correctly or in a manner the staff expects members should.)

Last week I heard this: "Our members aren't very tech savvy. Many are in their 50s and 60s."

At first I nodded. And then I thought "Wait a minute! I'm in my 50s!"

And then it dawned on me. While not born with the internet, those of us in our 50s (and older!) have been using the internet as long as, or longer than, anyone younger than their mid- to late-20s.

So "not tech savvy" is probably not the excuse many people think it is.

My experience is that very often the association has created an online experience that is not intuitive to the "average" user. And the average user, quite frankly, is probably someone who rarely visits the association website for anything other than transactions. So the experience has to assume the user has no previous knowledge of anything.

So when you start to think "Our members aren't tech savvy," think again. Odds are good you have a user interface/design issue (or even more likely, a business rules issue!).

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