IT-ASSIST: Towards Usable Applications for Elderly People

IT-ASSIST: Towards Usable Applications for Elderly People

Claas Ahlrichs (Universiaet Bremen, Germany), Daniel Kohlsdorf (Universiaet Bremen, Germany), Michael Lawo (Universiaet Bremen, Germany) and Gerrit Kalkbrenner (Universiaet Bremen, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2041-4.ch004
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IT-ASSIST is a twenty months research project which has the goal to give elderly people the opportunity to profit from digital media. Suffering from age related impairments concerning vision, hearing, or dexterity and bad hand-eye coordination are challenges when designing user interfaces for elderly people. Common approaches are trying to model systems for specific impairments. In this project, the authors follow the approach to set up interfaces and systems that can be used independent from personal impairments. Customization has adapted these systems to be in accordance with personnel impairments. Common applications like photo editing, digital mailing or internet browsing in a redesigned form provide social communication accordingly. In this article, a prototype of a customized user interface, its implementation, and results of user studies are presented and discussed.
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Initial Interviews

In an initial study 15 people (10 female, 5 male, between 68 and 92 years old) of three different retirement homes participated. Interviews were conducted to get an understanding of the requirements and allow a better planning of the entire system. All participants were recruited as volunteers and had minor age related impairments. The duration of the interviews ranged from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the needs of the interviewees.

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