Design for Aging: Enhancing Everyday Technology Use

Design for Aging: Enhancing Everyday Technology Use

Marita A. O’Brien (University of Alabama in Huntsville, USA) and Wendy A. Rogers (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1966-1.ch006
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Modern technology incorporates a wide range of digital technologies, including those created specifically for everyday tasks typically operated in stand-alone mode. Yet, innovations in mobile technologies and the Internet influence design and adoption of these everyday technologies by introducing new interaction techniques and by providing access to information and people that facilitate effective use. This chapter describes best practices and challenges for enabling older adults to adopt everyday technologies transformed by technology innovations. First, the authors define everyday technologies and known factors influencing successful use including environmental support and context of use. Then, they discuss issues and challenges of design for everyday technologies and summarize the factors that influence everyday technology use in a conceptual diagram. The authors also present recommendations for specific constituents that may improve technology adoption by older adults. Lastly, they discuss future opportunities for enhancing everyday technology use with good design, useful support, and appropriate innovations.
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Everyday technologies are characterized by the tasks they enable and the way in which they are first used. Everyday tasks occur in naturalistic environments during the ordinary activities of a target population, even if they are not conducted every day (Sinnott & Cook, 1989). For older adults, these everyday tasks have been generally specified as Activities of Daily Living (e.g., bathing, eating; Katz, Ford, Moskovitz, Jackson, & Jaffe, 1963); Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (e.g., managing medication, preparing meals; Lawton, 1990), and Enhanced Activities of Daily Living (e.g., communicating with family and friends, hobbies; Rogers, Meyer, Walker, & Fisk, 1998). Everyday technologies are typically used with little formal training or instruction.

The International Standards Organization (2006) recommended several practices for designers to follow in developing effective everyday technologies in the ISO 20282-1 standard, entitled “Ease of Operation of Everyday Products.” In this section, we review research about these factors pertinent to older adults by describing potential sources of knowledge for using new technologies and contextual factors of use.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Robert Z. Zheng, Robert D. Hill, Michael K Gardner
Robert Z. Zheng, Robert D. Hill, Michael K Gardner
Chapter 1
Christopher A. Was, Dan J. Woltz
There is clear evidence that aging has an effect on memory. However, not all memory processes suffer as one ages. In the current chapter, the... Sample PDF
Implicit Memory and Aging: Adapting Technology to Utilize Preserved Memory Functions
Chapter 2
Jason M. Watson, Ann E. Lambert, Joel M. Cooper, Istenya V. Boyle, David L. Strayer
Theories of cognitive aging suggest diminished frontal lobe function and reduced attentional control could contribute to age-related changes in... Sample PDF
On Attentional Control and the Aging Driver
Chapter 3
Kim Ouwehand, Tamara van Gog, Fred Paas
The present chapter describes the role of gestures in instructional design from a cognitive load theory perspective, addressing in particular how... Sample PDF
The Use of Gesturing to Facilitate Older Adults’ Learning from Computer-Based Dynamic Visualizations
Chapter 4
Daniel Morrow, Jessie Chin
The authors explore the role of technology in supporting collaboration between health care providers and older adults. They focus on two... Sample PDF
Technology as a Bridge between Health Care Systems and Older Adults
Chapter 5
Renae Low, Putai Jin, John Sweller
In this digital era, the gap between the elderly and younger generations in their use of computer-based technology is wide, and many researchers in... Sample PDF
Instructional Design in Digital Environments and Availability of Mental Resources
Chapter 6
Marita A. O’Brien, Wendy A. Rogers
Modern technology incorporates a wide range of digital technologies, including those created specifically for everyday tasks typically operated in... Sample PDF
Design for Aging: Enhancing Everyday Technology Use
Chapter 7
Yiwei Chen, Bob Lee, Robert M. Kirk
Older adults (65 and above) are the fastest growing population to use computers and the Internet in their everyday lives. The primary purpose of... Sample PDF
Internet Use among Older Adults: Constraints and Opportunities
Chapter 8
Robert Z. Zheng
This chapter examines the cognitive constraints related to older people in learning, particularly in e-learning, and proposes a new design approach... Sample PDF
Effective Online Learning for Older People: A Heuristic Design Approach
Chapter 9
Karin Slegers, Martin P. van Boxtel
Improving autonomy and quality of life for older adults has become an increasingly important aim of gerontological research. Computer and Internet... Sample PDF
Actual use of Computers and the Internet by Older Adults: Potential Benefits and Risks
Chapter 10
Michael K Gardner, Robert D. Hill
This chapter reviews the episodic memory difficulties typically encountered by older adults. It presents data that demonstrates that mnemonic... Sample PDF
Training Older Adults to Improve their Episodic Memory: Three Different Approaches to Enhancing Numeric Memory
Chapter 11
Eulàlia Hernández Encuentra, Modesta Pousada Fernández, Beni Gómez-Zúñiga
This chapter examines older adults’ adoption and experience of using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in particular the Internet.... Sample PDF
The Internet and Older Adults: Initial Adoption and Experience of Use
Chapter 12
E-Health for Older Adults  (pages 229-248)
Shane O’Hanlon, Alan Bourke, Valerie Power
e-Health has become a major focus for research in healthcare, with significant funding and political support at an international level. Older people... Sample PDF
E-Health for Older Adults
Chapter 13
Robert D. Hill
This chapter presents a guided framework for describing Remote Care Delivery Technologies (RCDT) in the processes of healthcare management among... Sample PDF
Remote Care Delivery Technologies: An Applications Framework for Chronic Disease Management in Older Adults
Chapter 14
Candice M. Daniel, Bret Hicken, Marilyn Luptak, Marren Grant, Randall Rupper
Caregivers of persons with dementia experience higher levels of anxiety, depressive symptoms, and other mental health problems, as well as increased... Sample PDF
Using Technology to Reach Caregivers of Veterans with Dementia
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