Web Accessibility:
     The Next Generation
Vicki Hanson
Following WAI-AGE
Pose the Question

• When today’s young adults become ‘older
  adults’ will they exhibit difficulties with
  technology cha...
Despite Aging Issues...

• “Aren’t you talking about a problem that
  will go away?”
   • problems of current older genera...
Purpose of this Talk

• Begin a discussion of technology expertise
  as related to aging
• Question:
 • Are technology dif...
The Older User
• All have stories of older relatives and
  technology problem
    • Confound of expertise and age
    • Te...
Age

• At what age does a person
     become “older”
• No general agreement
• 60? 65? 50? 40?
• Studies report age, but re...
Current Divide, but Changing?

                                45%
 % Online




                    Based on Jones & Fox,...
Why?
• Lack of access
• Lack of experience
• Lack of ability
• Lack of interest
• Cohort effect
• Retirement
Why? Lack of Access
• Can be expensive
 • Particularly if you aren’t sure what you will
   use it for
      • “Hand-me-ups...
Why? Lack of Experience
•   Fear

    • Fear of buying computers
    • Fear of breaking computers
      • If it breaks, wh...
Why? Lack of Trust

• Lack of trust is at many levels
 • Stories on the news
    • identity theft
    • online banking and...
Why? Lack of Interest
• Most often cited reason for non-use
     • Many, though, just want to be “current”
• What can it d...
Why? Retired


• Not interested in learning new things just
  for the sake of keeping up
Why? Cohort Effect


• Abilities and interests influenced by our age
  cohorts
Why? Lack of Ability

• Today’s older adults are better
    educated, more diverse, healthier, and
    more active than pr...
Age Related Changes - Cognition
   • Perceptual, motor, cognitive
     • Dynamic Diversity
   • Fluid intelligence
     • ...
Age Related Changes -
 Supporting Older Users


• Classes
• W3C Guidelines - WAI-AGE
• Browser modifications
Specialized Browsers
•   Simplified interfaces

     •   Number of commercial and experimental
         offerings

•   Idea...
User Modification of Pages
  • No single page rendering will be ideal for
    everyone
      • Browser features
      • Use...
Unique Browsing
•   Older Web users are not just deficient younger users
    - they browse differently

        •   Looked ...
Similarly ...
•   Compared older and younger adults

        •   Well-defined vs ill-defined search tasks

•   On ill-defined...
Original Question

• When today’s young adults become ‘older
  adults’ will they exhibit difficulties with
  technology tha...
Reasons to Think So

• Age-related disability will not disappear
• As with the current generation, this will
  continue to...
Disability   Ability and Changes




                     Age
Reasons to Think Not

• Future generations will have technology
  skills not in the repertoire of current older
  adults
•...
Age and Experience
Experience




                     Age
Ability and Experience
         Where is this intersection?



  Crystallized intelligence?
   Disability                 ...
Questions?
  vlh@acm.org
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Web accessibility - the next generation

1,624 views

Published on

Vicki Hanson's W4A 2009 presentation on supporting older web users.

Published in: Technology, Design
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,624
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
3
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Web accessibility - the next generation

  1. 1. Web Accessibility: The Next Generation Vicki Hanson
  2. 2. Following WAI-AGE
  3. 3. Pose the Question • When today’s young adults become ‘older adults’ will they exhibit difficulties with technology characteristic of the current older generation?
  4. 4. Despite Aging Issues... • “Aren’t you talking about a problem that will go away?” • problems of current older generation will not plague current Gen X and Y when they become “old”
  5. 5. Purpose of this Talk • Begin a discussion of technology expertise as related to aging • Question: • Are technology difficulties an inescapable fact of aging?
  6. 6. The Older User • All have stories of older relatives and technology problem • Confound of expertise and age • Tech-savvy generation believes this will not characterize their generation • Does not take into account • Current trends in technology adoption • Improvements in design (anticipated)
  7. 7. Age • At what age does a person become “older” • No general agreement • 60? 65? 50? 40? • Studies report age, but reviews blur this - “older” or “elderly” as a group
  8. 8. Current Divide, but Changing? 45% % Online Based on Jones & Fox, 2009
  9. 9. Why? • Lack of access • Lack of experience • Lack of ability • Lack of interest • Cohort effect • Retirement
  10. 10. Why? Lack of Access • Can be expensive • Particularly if you aren’t sure what you will use it for • “Hand-me-ups” • Libraries • Centers for older adults • Levels of access (Selwyn et al, 2003)
  11. 11. Why? Lack of Experience • Fear • Fear of buying computers • Fear of breaking computers • If it breaks, who will help? • Fear generated by computers when using • “You have performed an illegal operation” • Fear of trying something new • Hard to learn new things • Blame themselves when something doesn’t work • Hard to understand computer terms and concepts
  12. 12. Why? Lack of Trust • Lack of trust is at many levels • Stories on the news • identity theft • online banking and shopping • Trust people, not machines • Like the personal touch
  13. 13. Why? Lack of Interest • Most often cited reason for non-use • Many, though, just want to be “current” • What can it do that is useful? • Life has been fine without computers • Often want more ‘personal’ contact • Loneliness • May be that not everyone needs them • Mismatch with needs in interests as demonstrated by what is used...
  14. 14. Why? Retired • Not interested in learning new things just for the sake of keeping up
  15. 15. Why? Cohort Effect • Abilities and interests influenced by our age cohorts
  16. 16. Why? Lack of Ability • Today’s older adults are better educated, more diverse, healthier, and more active than previous generations • However... • Age-related disability • Most older adults have some declines that affect ability to use computers
  17. 17. Age Related Changes - Cognition • Perceptual, motor, cognitive • Dynamic Diversity • Fluid intelligence • Affects ability to learn new things • STM, speed of processing • Allows people to think quickly and reason abstractly • Complexity of Web, Web 2.0
  18. 18. Age Related Changes - Supporting Older Users • Classes • W3C Guidelines - WAI-AGE • Browser modifications
  19. 19. Specialized Browsers • Simplified interfaces • Number of commercial and experimental offerings • Ideal for getting novices started • Relatively short lives • Lack of full Web functionality • Difficult to get help • Not wanting to be “different”
  20. 20. User Modification of Pages • No single page rendering will be ideal for everyone • Browser features • User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (W3C) • Transcoding • Browser augmentation
  21. 21. Unique Browsing • Older Web users are not just deficient younger users - they browse differently • Looked at strategies for problem solving (not comparing times, numbers) • Age did not predict success • Hypothesized reason: Solution required specialized knowledge, experience, and vocabulary • While fluid intelligence abilities decline with age, crystallized intelligence abilities do not Fairweather, 2008
  22. 22. Similarly ... • Compared older and younger adults • Well-defined vs ill-defined search tasks • On ill-defined, older adults performed better than younger adults • Search behavior depended on task • Spent more time processing, comprehending, and deciding on ill-defined tasks • Hypothesis again related to cognitive abilities Chin, Fu, & Kannampallil, 2009
  23. 23. Original Question • When today’s young adults become ‘older adults’ will they exhibit difficulties with technology that appear to characterize the current older generation?
  24. 24. Reasons to Think So • Age-related disability will not disappear • As with the current generation, this will continue to present problems of learning new technologies • Technology will not remain the same
  25. 25. Disability Ability and Changes Age
  26. 26. Reasons to Think Not • Future generations will have technology skills not in the repertoire of current older adults • Trends towards remaining longer in the workforce; new skills deteriorate with retirement
  27. 27. Age and Experience Experience Age
  28. 28. Ability and Experience Where is this intersection? Crystallized intelligence? Disability Experience As technologies develop, there may be a point (or points) where the next generation can no longer use Age
  29. 29. Questions? vlh@acm.org

×