In the Information and Advice Resources team at Age UK, we want to make sure that our resources are innovative and keep up with emerging trends in information and advice. We are also committed to offering the public a positive experience in finding the information they need. So as well as producing printed guides and factsheets, and the Age UK website’s online information pages, we’ve also produced a number of videos.
We currently have six videos and they all provide a quick and easy introduction to the topics they cover:
- How to boost your income in retirement
- What is Pension Credit?
- How to arrange care at home
- How to reduce your risk of falling
- How to save energy and pay less
- How to find a good care home
Video is fast becoming a dominant medium for internet content –indeed a report by Cisco, a leading technology company, estimates that videos will form 80% of all internet traffic by the year 2019. Charities are also making use of video as a way to engage more people – not just for fundraising and campaigns, but also for information and advice. Age UK wants to be part of this emerging trend to make sure our users also have the option to find the information and advice they need via videos.
We want older people and their carers to find the information they need as easily as possible, and that means employing a variety of approaches to meet their needs. Some people prefer to use our printed guides (or an audio version of a guide), while others prefer to search online. For those who want online information, videos are a quick and easy way to find out more. For example, our shortest video explains Pension Credit in just 97 seconds.
Getting feedback from older people is important to make sure we reflect their views, experiences, and needs. In the Information and Advice Resources team we regularly hold focus groups to review our resources. We also have a readers’ panel. In December 2015 we commissioned a research agency to gather feedback on our videos, which has helped us learn more about this new area of work.
Using a survey and focus groups, we consulted with both older people (aged 65+) and people aged between 40 and 64 years old who look for information for an older person or themselves. From this research, we were able to find out how they used video online in a general way and were also able to evaluate our first three videos – What is pension credit?, How to boost your income in retirement, and How to arrange care at home.
The feedback was extremely positive, with animation coming out as the most popular format for information and advice videos. Animation was seen as being relatable, sincere, enjoyable to watch and cheaper to produce. In particular, participants told us that animated videos overcome the issue of older people being alienated from real life case studies that they couldn’t relate to.
Older people told us that animation made even difficult topics seem lighter and more engaging, which means we can use it to tackle even sensitive subjects such as finding a good care home.
The Information and Advice Resources team will develop more videos in 2016, with the feedback from the research guiding us in how we develop the videos and choose the topics. We will continue to seek user feedback as we develop more videos in 2016.
Stay tuned for more I&A videos to come, and visit Age UK’s You Tube channel to see our existing information and advice videos.