Digital Television and Senior Users: Design Evolution or Involution?

Digital Television and Senior Users: Design Evolution or Involution?

Francisco V. Cipolla-Ficarra (Latin Association of Human-Computer Interaction, Spain & International Association of Interactive Communication, Italy), Jacqueline Alma (Electronic Arts, Canada) and Miguel Cipolla-Ficarra (International Association of Interactive Communication, Italy)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3437-2.ch007
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Abstract

In this chapter the increase of the digital divide among the third age users and the digital television is studied. From an ergonomic point of view of the remote command keys the technological impact is analyzed of the introduction of the digital television, in a sample of the senior population in the south of Europe, at the moment of interacting with television. We also present the results of the experiments in a communicability and usability lab such as the changes of habits to get information about the latest local, national and international news.
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Introduction

Currently, there are several syllogisms to divide the population of the users of interactive systems, in relation to the age they have, the time they spend connected to the internet, etc. For instance, Digital Sapiens or Homo Sapiens Digital, Digital Immigrants, Digitally Illiterate, Generation Z, etc. (Palfrey, 2008). Native Digital or digital Homo Sapiens are all those people born in the decades of the 80s, 90s or later, when a quite developed digital technology already existed within the reach of many. It is the group of people who have had contact with the with the ICT since they were very small and have developed use capabilities together with the development of their personality (Livingston, 2007).

In the subgroup of digital immigrants are included all those users born between the years 1940 and 1980, since they have been spectators and actors generally privileged of the evolutional process of technology (Moragas-Spa, 1985; Reeves & Nass, 1996; Veltman, 2006). In other words, they are those people who must learn to use the ICT to do other things that in the past they were used to do with analogical supports, especially paper, for instance, to send a congratulation card through the mail. Although inside these two groups there are socioeconomic differences, at a same socioeconomic level there is a relative gap, of cognitive character in the handling of the ICTs, between the digital natives and the digital immigrants. There is a third category, which would be the digitally illiterate, who because of their advanced age should be digital immigrants, but who have not had any experience in the use of computers or another digital technology. From a sociological perspective, this users group can be included in the set of digital immigrants. The Z generation does not have a precise starting data in the new millennium, but it is a group of very young users who are constantly connected to the Internet, to communicate with other users or interacting with digital contents online. It is a generation where the common denominator is the World Wide Web, instant messaging, text messaging, MP3 players, mobile phones, etc. Biologically, in the current study, we carry out the division of the potential users of the ICT in the following way: child (4/11), junior (12/17), adult (18/64), and senior (over 65 years). In our universe of study, we focus on this latter group of people or users.

Now in the current syllogisms to divide the population of users of interactive systems, it is necessary to consider what is the purpose of the interaction, because apparently it is as if the whole process of interaction user-new technologies were oriented at the pastime of the digital native or Z generation. Traditionally, the potential users of the interactive multimedia systems have been divided in relation to the type, profile, time for the use of the system and the previous experience with the multimedia interactive system used.

Table 1.
As a rule, the users of multimedia systems in the 20th century were classified in the following way at the moment of interacting with the digital contents
TypeProfileTime for the Use of the SystemPrevious Experience in Interactive Systems
EventualThey check the system a single time, such as can be the timetable of trains, buses, etc.Very short (less than an hour)No
IntentionalInterested in the issue and want to go deeper into itShort (between 1 and three hours)Yes
ExpertsResearchers about one or several issues, related to the content of the system.UnlimitedYes
Experts and intentionalThey are those users who do not count with previous experience in the handling of interactive systems, but they show a great interest in learning.UnlimitedNo

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