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Investigating familiar interactions to help older adults learn computer applications more easily

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Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

Human Computer Interaction

4 - 8 July 2011

Human Computer Interaction, Older Adults, Multitouch Interaction, Familiarity, Email, non-WIMP interfaces

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      Abstract

      Many older adults wish to gain competence in using a computer, but many application interfaces are perceived as complex and difficult to use, deterring potential users from investing the time to learn them. Hence, this study looks at the potential of ‘familiar’ interface design which builds upon users’ knowledge of real world interactions, and applies existing skills to a new domain. Tools are provided in the form of familiar visual objects, and manipulated like real-world counterparts, rather than with buttons, icons and menus found in classic WIMP interfaces.

      This paper describes the formative evaluation of computer interactions that are based upon familiar real world tasks, which support multitouch interaction, involves few buttons and icons, no menus, no right-clicks or double-clicks and no dialogs. Using an example of an email client to test the principles of using “familiarity”, the initial feedback was very encouraging, with 3 of the 4 participants being able to undertake some of the basic email tasks with no prior training and little or no help. The feedback has informed a number of refinements of the design principles, such as providing clearer affordance for visual objects. A full study is currently underway.

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      Most cited references 5

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      The impact of aging on access to technology

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        Possible implications of aging for interface designers

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          Introducing the Internet to the over-60s: Developing an email system for older novice computer users

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Contributors
            Conference
            July 2011
            July 2011
            : 473-478
            10.14236/ewic/HCI2011.79
            © Nic Hollinworth et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction
            HCI
            25
            Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
            4 - 8 July 2011
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            Human Computer Interaction
            Product
            Product Information: 1477-9358 BCS Learning & Development
            Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
            Categories
            Electronic Workshops in Computing

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