Technology for older people is more than big buttons - designing technology for engagement

Speaker:  Geraldine Fitzpatrick – Vienna, Austria
Topic(s):  Human Computer Interaction


Who we think technologies are for, and how we design for them, can be radically influenced by how we think about people and their issues. This is particularly so with older people, where notions of aging as physiological decline associated with increased health problems lead to technology solutions that, while functionally useful, are often driven by accessibility and care needs – think of big buttons on devices, or wearable fall detectors. But older people are people too and developmental theories of aging suggest important other roles for technology and for active community participation and indeed community contribution. All of us, including older adults, will use technologies when they make sense and connect to something meaningful in our lives. In this talk I will draw on various examples of technology and older people to illustrate this and show very rich and diverse relationships between older people and technologies. These challenge our preconceptions of aging, and invite us to recognize ‘usability’ as but a minimal requirement compared to ‘usefulness’. They also invite us in particular to re-define current care agendas, as illustrated in telecare and ambient assisted living programs, to enable older people to become active –co-contributors to care networks rather than passive recipients of care. It is about designing for engagement, for living, for quality of lived experience.  

About this Lecture

Number of Slides:  ~40
Duration:  30 - 50 minutes
Languages Available:  English
Last Updated: 

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