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Instapaper offers Terrific User Experience for Boomers

June 4, 2012

Every so often I run across an app or website that’s a Baby Boomer’s dream and I must share it with everyone I know.  It’s just that good.

That means I talk about it everywhere, load it onto my friends mobile devices, and blog about it.

Recently, Instapaper earned on a spot on my “must share” list.

For starters, the concept is terrific.  Everyone is inundated with news they want to read but don’t have the time to, so the “read later” concept is a natural win.  However, many developers fail to secure Boomer users because their sites are too hard for Boomers (Americans ages 48-66) to navigate.

Not Instapaper.  It offers a delightful user experience.  I don’t know if app developer Marco Arment had the Boomer cohort in mind when he designed Instapaper, but he really hit a home run for us.

Instapaper calls itself a simple tool to read webpages later.  And it really works.  It gives users the opportunity to “save” websites and articles that catch their eye but require extra time to peruse.

Accessing the articles you’ve saved to Instapaper is easy.  You can view them on the Instapaper website, through one of the native Instapaper apps (available for the iPad and iPhone), or on your Kindle (thanks to a built-in integration). Android owners can use a number of third-party apps such as Everpaper and Instafetch.

The user interface is highly effective. The home page is clean and uncluttered, the font and point size are easy to read, and the directions simple to follow.

Here’s an example of a Boomer being introduced to Instapaper and the joy it brought.  A few nights ago my husband complained that he couldn’t find a news story he saw earlier in the day, but didn’t have time to read.

“This really pisses me off,” he uttered.  “I wish I had a place to save these articles so I could read them later.”

“You do,” I said, beaming proudly.  “There’s an app for that.”  (I just love saying that.)

I sent him to the Instapaper webpage to get started and that’s all it took.  My husband is a typical Boomer: he has a smartphone and an iPad, and he enjoys his tech conveniences—but like others in his age group, he backs off if the app seems too complicated to use.

Instapaper reeled him right in.  In fact, last night when we were dining with friends, I overheard him telling the guys about a really great app he found—Instapaper.


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