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Older Adults and Computer Usage:
Common Activities and Essential Applications

   Melissa Wong, Kristal Chan, Niti Madhugi...
Background: Aging Society
     World          Singapore



               Age 65+ in Singapore

                 2000 :   ...
Computers and older adults
• Global aging population changed the landscape
  of information technology industry
      – Ex...
Motivations
• Older adults have different needs and concerns
• Current interfaces which are mostly designed for
  younger ...
Motivation
• Question:


               Simple Interface                                 What essential
                  ...
We are interested to find out the essential
needs of older adults in computer usage, and
how such needs are reflected in t...
Interview

Participants
• 8 computer literate participants (5 male, 3
  female, age range 51-73, M: 64.5, SD: 7.89)

Forma...
Results
Computer usage
     Emails

     Online banking

     Internet search

     Document processing

     Connecting w...
Analysis

Information seeking
  • Internet search
  • Browsers
  • News
Analysis

Information seeking    Communication
  • Internet search     • Email
  • Browsers            • Video calls
  • N...
Analysis

Information seeking       Communication
  • Internet search        • Email
  • Browsers               • Video ca...
Analysis

Information seeking       Communication
  • Internet search        • Email
  • Browsers               • Video ca...
Take-away & Implications
• The essential interface for older adults should probably
  only include the above functionaliti...
Q&A
For more information
• http://hci.comp.nus.edu.sg
• http://www.shengdongzhao.com/shen-
  publications/
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Older Adults and Computer Usage

  1. 1. Older Adults and Computer Usage: Common Activities and Essential Applications Melissa Wong, Kristal Chan, Niti Madhugiri, Shengdong Zhao NUS-HCI Lab, Computer Science National University of Singapore
  2. 2. Background: Aging Society World Singapore Age 65+ in Singapore 2000 : 7% 2030 : 19%
  3. 3. Computers and older adults • Global aging population changed the landscape of information technology industry – Existing older adults increasingly expose to IT • Older adults are now the fastest growing population of computer buyers and Internet users 1, 2 – As we grow up, future older adults will become IT savvy 1. Becker, S. A. (2005). E-Government usability for older adults. Communications of the ACM, 48(2), 102–104. 2. Hart, T., Chaparro, B., & Halcomb, C. (2008). Evaluating websites for older adults: Adherence to senior-friendly guidelines and end-user performance. Behaviour & Information Technology, 27(3), 191–199.
  4. 4. Motivations • Older adults have different needs and concerns • Current interfaces which are mostly designed for younger users and are too complex for older adults 1 • Majority of the functionalities are not needed or used 1. Massimi, M., R.M. Baecker, and M. Wu, Using participatory activities with seniors to critique, build, and evaluate mobile phones. ACM SIGACCESS 2007, ACM: 155-162
  5. 5. Motivation • Question: Simple Interface What essential applications and for older adults functionalities should it ??? support? • Not much has been discussed about the use of specific applications for activities that they do 1 1. Goodman, J.,Syme, A., Eisma, R. (2003). Older adults’ use of computers: A survey. HCI Sept 2003, Bath, Uk.
  6. 6. We are interested to find out the essential needs of older adults in computer usage, and how such needs are reflected in the type of computing activities carried out as well as the most common computer applications being used.
  7. 7. Interview Participants • 8 computer literate participants (5 male, 3 female, age range 51-73, M: 64.5, SD: 7.89) Format • Semi-structured interview • Questions covered: – Experience with learning and using of computers – Type of computing activities and motivations such activities
  8. 8. Results Computer usage Emails Online banking Internet search Document processing Connecting with family/friends Online reservations and ticketing Entertainment
  9. 9. Analysis Information seeking • Internet search • Browsers • News
  10. 10. Analysis Information seeking Communication • Internet search • Email • Browsers • Video calls • News • Social networking sites
  11. 11. Analysis Information seeking Communication • Internet search • Email • Browsers • Video calls • News • Social networking sites Productivity • Microsoft Office • Online transactions • Photo management
  12. 12. Analysis Information seeking Communication • Internet search • Email • Browsers • Video calls • News • Social networking sites Productivity Entertainment • Microsoft Office • Video channels • Online transactions • Games • Photo management
  13. 13. Take-away & Implications • The essential interface for older adults should probably only include the above functionalities • Make the interface consistent – Changes made to interfaces should be handled carefully as older adults may not adapt effectively
  14. 14. Q&A For more information • http://hci.comp.nus.edu.sg • http://www.shengdongzhao.com/shen- publications/

Describe the essential applications and computing activities of elderly users.

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