Supporting and sustaining effective use of ICT in later life


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Presentation given at Congreso Internacional sobre Inclusión Digital y Aprendizaje (Digital Inclusion conference) at UNED, Madrid, 20 April 2012.

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  • Dana Chisnell and Ginny Redish’s review of usability for older adults available as a PDF from:
  • Supporting and sustaining effective use of ICT in later life

    1. 1. Supporting andsustaining effectiveuse of ICT in laterlife David Sloan @sloandr 20 de Abril 2012 Congreso Internacional sobre Inclusión Digital y Aprendizaje Madrid
    2. 2. Overview• The importance of supporting ICT use by older people• Difficulties experienced by older ICT users• Best practices in designing for older people• Challenges for digital content providers David Sloan, 20 April 2012 2
    3. 3. It’s nice to be here! David Sloan, 20 April 2012 3
    4. 4. Older ICT users: a significant population!Population increase in UK – projections for mid 2008-2033Source: Office of National Statistics 4
    5. 5. Use of ICT by older people• 4 million Internet users in UK aged over 65; 1.3 million new users since 2009• Over-65s “fastest growing Facebook user group”• 20% of new iPad users are over 55Figures quoted with reference to original sources in: Getting On - A manifesto for older people in a networked nation (Race Online 2012) David Sloan, 20 April 2012 5
    6. 6. Opportunities ICT brings older people• Mobility Barriers eased• Cost savings• Wellbeing• Independence From: Getting On - A manifesto for older people in a networked nation (Race Online 2012) David Sloan, 20 April 2012 6
    7. 7. But – non-use is still an issue• Reasons for Internet non-use amongst retired people in UK (source Oxford Internet Survey 2011)# Never used Gave up using1 Just not interested Just not interested2 Do not know how to use Computer no longer available3 Not for people of my age Not for people of my age4 Computer no longer Never figured it out available5 Too expensive Privacy worries David Sloan, 20 April 2012 7
    8. 8. Profiling typical older ICT users? Photo credit: Chris Spencer David Sloan, 20 April 2012 8
    9. 9. Age-related factors affecting ICT use• Chronological age is not a reliable indicator of capability or performance.• Also consider: – Capability (and related accessibility issues) – Aptitude (technology experience) – Attitude (anxiety, perseverance) Chisnell and Redish (2004) Designing Web sites for Older Adults: Expert review of Usability for Older adults at 50 web sites. David Sloan, 20 April 2012 9
    10. 10. Ability and age-related capabilitychangeCapability issues are highly individual anddynamic, in terms of: – The resulting accessibility issue(s) a person may have – The way in which these issues were acquired – The rate that these issues change in severity – The impact of these issues individually and in combination David Sloan, 20 April 2012 10
    11. 11. Age-related capability change1. Sensory: Vision, Hearing2. Motor: Dexterity3. Cognitive – Fluid intelligence (relating to processing and reasoning, aptitude for learning, working memory, visual attention) David Sloan, 20 April 2012 11
    12. 12. Age-related capability change• Some capabilities are less prone to decline over time: – Crystallised intelligence – knowledge acquired through learning and life experience – May help explain older people’s relatively high success levels in ill-defined search tasks David Sloan, 20 April 2012 12
    13. 13. Attitude and aptitudeCould be affected by:•Current technology – Complexity and change•Support networks – Availability of help•Life experience – Education – Technology generations David Sloan, 20 April 2012 13
    14. 14. Technology generationsLim (2010) Designing inclusive ICT products for older users: taking into account the technology generation effect David Sloan, 20 April 2012 14
    15. 15. Designing usable ICT for older people• Following principles of inclusive design• Lots of guidelines! – From gerontechnology research studies – From usability/human computer interaction research – From web standards/web accessibility• Sometimes there’s conflict… David Sloan, 20 April 2012 15
    16. 16. Some clarity - from W3C WAI-AGE David Sloan, 20 April 2012 16
    17. 17. Some research and development challenges• How can we better develop and provide ICT that is sensitive to the needs of an ageing population? David Sloan, 20 April 2012 17
    18. 18. Special technology? Or raise expectations of usability• Some commercial ICT products focus on providing “simplified computers”• But when will YOU decide you need a “tout-et-un” Ordissimo tactile 24” simplified computer? David Sloan, 20 April 2012 18
    19. 19. Challenges for user profiling and older ICT users• Attitude to and awareness of impairments – Self-denial, assumption of others’ perceptions of one’s capabilities – Result may be rejection of accessibility solutions• A “Hierarchy of impairments” – means reducing cognitive demand most important?• Collaborative use of ICT: – Whose accessibility needs are accommodated? David Sloan, 20 April 2012 19
    20. 20. User-centred ICT research with older people• Involve older people in ICT policy, research and development activity• But may need to modify Human-Computer Interaction activities: – Methods – Time, location, study materials – Managing expectations of research outcomes• Be aware of limits of applying results of a specific study to “older people” in general David Sloan, 20 April 2012 20
    21. 21. Sustaining ICT use over time• Strong government focus on “Getting older people online”• But how do we limit disengagement with and abandonment of ICT by older people? David Sloan, 20 April 2012 21
    22. 22. Example: SUS-IT project• Developing an adaptation framework to accommodate dynamic capability change – Giving the right help at the right time• Approach: 1. Monitor user activity 2. Identify potential signs of difficulty 3. Propose (or automatically apply) relevant adaptations 4. Enable undo and redo David Sloan, 20 April 2012 22
    23. 23. Entertainment? Or saving lives?• Perceptions of older people on ICT and quality of life – having fun rather than surviving! David Sloan, 20 April 2012 23
    24. 24. Example: Worthplay project• 2011-2013 – CSIC funded project between UPF, IIIA-CSIC, Dundee, Agora, Wake Studios• What makes digital games worth playing by older people? – Ethnographic study of older people as digital game players – Participatory design, development and evaluation of a novel digital game David Sloan, 20 April 2012 24
    25. 25. Innovation in usable interface design• Taking advantage of the crystallised knowledge of older web users• User interface paradigms and metaphors that are recognisable and appropriate• Help and error recovery more tailored to techniques used by older ICT users David Sloan, 20 April 2012 25
    26. 26. ICT for older people: a tool for social inclusion! David Sloan, 20 April 2012 26
    27. 27. Summary• Older ICT users are not a homogeneous group – may have accessibility needs – but may not know it or have the appropriate technology• Follow inclusive design guidelines…focus on reducing cognitive demand on browsing• Focus on quality of user experience rather than just “solving accessibility problems” – Involve older people in a user-centered design process• Look at the opportunities of new ICTs• And remember… 27
    28. 28. …we are designing for our future selves! David Sloan, 20 April 2012 28
    29. 29. Acknowledgments• Sergio Sayago, Alan Newell, Peter Gregor, Paula Forbes, Anna Dickinson, Vicki Hanson (photos; inspiration, insight from ethnography with older web users)• The Dundee User Centre – the real experts!• Prof Leela Damodaran and Wendy Olphert (SUS-IT project ) 29
    30. 30. GRACIAS!email: @sloandrblogs: --- --- 30