Proceedings of the 28th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2014) (HCI)
BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2014)
9 - 12 September 2014
The global population of people aged 60 years and older is growing rapidly. In the UK, there are currently around 10 million people aged 65 and over, and the number is projected to rise by 50% in the next 20 years (RNIB, 2013). While ongoing advances in information technology (IT) are undoubtedly increasing the scope for IT to enhance and support older adults’ daily living, the digital divide between older and younger adults – 43% of people below the age of 55 own and use a smartphone, compared to only 3% of people aged 65 and over (AgeUK, 2013) – raises concerns about the suitability of technological solutions for older adults, especially for older adults with impairments. Evidence suggests that sympathetic design of mobile technology does render it useful and acceptable to older adults: the key issue is, however, how best to achieve such sympathetic design when working with impaired older adults. We report here on a case study in order to outline the practicalities and highlight the benefits of participatory research for the design of sympathetic technology for (and importantly with) older adults with impairments.