An Overview of Participatory Design Applied to Physical and Digital Product Interaction for Older People
An understanding of the need for user-centred and participatory design continues to gain universal momentum both in academia and industry. It is essential this momentum is maintained as the population changes and technology develops. The contribution of this work draws on research from different disciplines to provide the design community with new knowledge and an awareness of the diversity of user needs, particularly the needs and skills of older people. A collection of usability and accessibility guidelines are referenced in terms of their applicability toward designing interfaces and interaction for an ageing population, in conjunction with results from studies that highlight the extent to which familiarity and successful interaction with contemporary products decreases according to age and prior experience, and identifies the problems users experience during interaction with technology. The hope is that more widespread awareness of this knowledge will encourage greater understanding and assist in the development of better design methods and better on- and offline products and tools for those of any age, but particularly those within an increasingly ageing demographic.