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Processing Speed and Vocabulary are Related to Older Adults' Internet Experiences

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Some cognitive declines commonly occur with aging; yet they are seldom taken into account by Website designers and User Experience (UX) researchers. In this empirical study, we compared younger adults, middle-age adults, high-functioning older adults, and low-functioning older adults to examine whether there is a relationship between aspects of cognition
and performance when using a Website. Performance was measured by accuracy (percent of tasks completed successfully), efficiency (mean time to complete tasks) and self-rated satisfaction, three commonly used usability metrics. Results
suggest that processing speed and vocabulary may be related to Internet performance. Specifically, older adults with faster processing speed and/or high vocabulary may perform better than their lower-functioning counterparts. More importantly, these older adults perform similar to younger adults.

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Processing Speed and Vocabulary are Related to Older Adults' Internet Experiences

  1. 1. Processing Speed and Vocabulary Are Related to Older Adults’ Internet Experiences* Jen Romano-Bergstrom | Facebook | JenRB@fb.com Erica Olmsted-Hawala | US Census Bureau Wendy Rogers | Georgia Institute of Technology #HCII2015 @romanocog * Best Paper Award of the 1st International Conference on Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population Aug 5, 2015 HCII | Los Angeles, CA
  2. 2. Aging and the brain 2 #HCII2015 @romanocog Source: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/06/26/americans-internet-access-2000- 2015/
  3. 3. Aging and the brain 3 #HCII2015 @romanocog Source: http://faculty.virginia.edu/cogage/publications2/Salthouse%20(2009)%20When%20do es%20age-related%20cognitive%20decline%20begin.pdf
  4. 4. Aging and the brain 4 #HCII2015 @romanocog
  5. 5. This study Goal: Examine the relationship between age-related cognitive decline and Internet performance. 1. Cognitive battery • Processing Speed a. Backward counting task b. WAIS Digit Symbol Coding task • Vocabulary: Shipley Vocabulary test 2. Computer and Internet Experience Questionnaire 3. Five Information-Finding Tasks on Census Website 4. Satisfaction Questionnaire 5 #HCII2015 @romanocog
  6. 6. Participants 6 #HCII2015 @romanocog 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 Younger Middle Older Younger Middle-age Older N 21 19 21 Gender 15 F / 6 M 10 F / 9 M 12 F / 9 M Age 23 (18-28) 46 (40-51) 68 (65-76) Difficulty w learning new websites, p<.01 1:Notdifficultatall–5:Extremelydifficult
  7. 7. Participants 7 #HCII2015 @romanocog 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 Younger Middle Older Younger Middle-age Older N 21 19 21 Gender 15 F / 6 M 10 F / 9 M 12 F / 9 M Age 23 (18-28) 46 (40-51) 68 (65-76) Difficulty w learning new websites, p<.01 1:Notdifficultatall–5:Extremelydifficult
  8. 8. Participants 8 #HCII2015 @romanocog 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 Younger Middle Older Younger Middle-age Older N 21 19 21 Gender 15 F / 6 M 10 F / 9 M 12 F / 9 M Age 23 (18-28) 46 (40-51) 68 (65-76) Difficulty w learning new websites, p<.01 1:Notdifficultatall–5:Extremelydifficult 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Younger Middle Older Backward Counting, p<.001 Digit Symbol Coding, p=.0001 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Younger Middle Older Processing Speed 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 Younger Middle Older Vocabulary, p=.43 Verbal Ability
  9. 9. Q1: Are there age-related differences in performance? 9 #HCII2015 @romanocog Efficiency, in seconds, p=.36 0 50 100 150 200 250 Younger Middle Older Satisfaction, p=.26 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Younger Middle Older Accuracy, p=.06 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Younger Middle Older p<.01
  10. 10. 10 #HCII2015 @romanocogQ2: Do varying levels of cognitive function impact performance? a. Backward Counting Task Younger HF Older LF Older N 21 7 7 Scores 51 (34-75) (53) 43-60 (76) 72-84 p<.0001 Tukey HSD post hoc test: Low-functioning Older > High-functioning Older, p<.01 Low-functioning Older > Younger, p<.01 High-functioning Older = Younger Accuracy, p<.05 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Younger HF Older LF Older Efficiency, in seconds, p=.15 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 Younger HF Older LF Older Satisfaction, p=.28 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Younger HF Older LF Older
  11. 11. 11 #HCII2015 @romanocogQ2: Do varying levels of cognitive function impact performance? b. Digit Symbol Coding Task Younger HF Older LF Older N 19 6 6 Scores 79 (48- 116) (72) 64-91 (34) 24-38 p<.0001 Tukey HSD post hoc test: Low-functioning Older < High-functioning Older, p<.01 Low-functioning Older < Younger, p<.01 High-functioning Older = Younger Efficiency, in seconds, p=.21 0 50 100 150 200 250 Younger HF Older LF Older Satisfaction, p=.18 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Younger HF Older LF Older Accuracy, p<.05 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Younger HF Older LF Older p<.05
  12. 12. 12 #HCII2015 @romanocogQ2: Do varying levels of cognitive function impact performance? c. Verbal Ability Younger HF Older LF Older N 21 7 7 Scores 31 (22-38) (38) 35-40 (27) 22-29 p<.0001 Tukey HSD post hoc test: Low-functioning Older < High-functioning Older, p<.01 High-functioning Older < Younger, p<.01 Low-functioning Older = Younger Accuracy, p<.05 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Younger HF Older LF Older Efficiency, in seconds, p=.47 0 50 100 150 200 250 Younger HF Older LF Older Satisfaction, p<.05 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Younger HF Older LF Older p<.01
  13. 13. Summary 13 #HCII2015 @romanocog Jen Romano-Bergstrom Facebook | JenRB@fb.com Accuracy, p=.06 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Younger Middle Older p<.01 Accuracy, p<.05 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Younger HF Older LF Older Verbal Ability 1. Suggests age-related decline 2. Suggests cognition mediates age-related differences 3. UX Testing must include people of all ages and cognitive abilities to ensure the product meets all users’ needs. Processing Speed Digit Symbol Coding Accuracy, p<.05 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Younger HF Older LF Older p<.05

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