Are the older generation getting tech-savvy?

Thought provoking article on the BBC website on the tech needs of older people: www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20529991

It stems from work done at the Cambridge Design Centre, part of Cambridge University, looking at products and how older people use them.  It's clearly an important topic with the demographic shift to an aging population.

The video really highlights the problems designers have in seeing the world through the eyes of others. What to many younger users would be an intuitive interaction - touch and swipe - are not to older people who have a totally different mental model and a more analogue paradigm of usage.

It also demonstrates the difficulties for designers to really understand some of the physical constraints older people have.  Being able to experience this with modified glasses or adaptive aids that constraint joint movement etc can be great - our recent work with Guide Dogs for the Blind went through similar efforts with our team going on blindfolded walks with guide dogs and we also discovered some augmented reality apps that show you a view of the world with various visual impairments.

All really interesting and important issues especially when you look at increasing adoption of technology by older users in order to take advantage of some of the opportunities for things like reducing loneliness.

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DESIGN AND THE HUMAN FACTOR: Are the older generation getting tech-savvy?

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Are the older generation getting tech-savvy?

Thought provoking article on the BBC website on the tech needs of older people: www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20529991

It stems from work done at the Cambridge Design Centre, part of Cambridge University, looking at products and how older people use them.  It's clearly an important topic with the demographic shift to an aging population.

The video really highlights the problems designers have in seeing the world through the eyes of others. What to many younger users would be an intuitive interaction - touch and swipe - are not to older people who have a totally different mental model and a more analogue paradigm of usage.

It also demonstrates the difficulties for designers to really understand some of the physical constraints older people have.  Being able to experience this with modified glasses or adaptive aids that constraint joint movement etc can be great - our recent work with Guide Dogs for the Blind went through similar efforts with our team going on blindfolded walks with guide dogs and we also discovered some augmented reality apps that show you a view of the world with various visual impairments.

All really interesting and important issues especially when you look at increasing adoption of technology by older users in order to take advantage of some of the opportunities for things like reducing loneliness.

Labels: , , , , ,

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