Social networking sites (SNSs) provide ambient awareness of the interests and activities of friends and relatives helping them sustain and strengthen their social ties. Older adults who are not adopting SNSs might however feel like outsiders within their own families who increasingly rely on these services to socialize. Previous research has shown that situated displays can provide appropriate interfaces for older adults to use digital services. In this paper we explore how situated displays can intuitively provide ambient awareness to strengthen the family social network of older adults. We designed and developed Tlatoque, a situated display, to seamlessly integrate older adults into the SNS used by their relatives. The results of a 21-week deployment study of an initial version of Tlatoque in one extended family showed that the older adult became more conscious of relatives’ activities, which also enriched in-person encounters. However, relatives expected the older adult to reply to their posts in the SNS and Tlatoque lacked mechanisms for the older adult to provide feedback. We re-designed Tlatoque to incorporate means for enabling the older adult to share information back to the SNS. We conducted a second 21-week deployment study with another extended family to evaluate the use of this new version of the system. Our results indicate that the second design was successful in providing ambient awareness to the older adult as well as to her relatives. We conclude that situated displays that provide SNS services can assist the integration of older adults to their social network and contribute to enhance asymmetric relations between the older adult and younger relatives.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Tlatoque [tlaʔ 'tokeʔ] a náhuatl word meaning “those who talk”—the plural of Tlatoani. *http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlatoani
Personas are not real people, but they represent them throughout the design process. They are hypothetical archetypes of actual users. *Cooper, Alan (2004). The Inmates Are Running the Asylum. Indianapolis, USA: Sams Publishing
The primary caregiver takes the older adult to her morning exercises, medical appointments or social events.
For simplicity of reading, from now on, we will refer to this participant as G1: grandma 1
For simplicity of reading, from now on, we will call this group of participants RSR: the representative sample of relatives
We consider a family photograph as the one where there is at least one member of the family on it.
We did not include P1 since the gained ambient awareness had no significant effect on the relationship.
Actions or action links provide additional ways to interact with activities and streamed content. *Messina, Chris (2010). Actions, Activity streams, Web Page, March 2010. http://wiki.activitystrea.ms/w/page/23655855/Actions. Accessed 12 July 2010.
A GUI widget is a visual building block interwoven in an application providing a single interaction point for the direct manipulation of a given kind of data. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUI_widget
For simplicity of reading, from now on, we will call to this participant G2: grandma 2
FarmVille is a farming social network game. http://company.zynga.com/games/farmville
Apted, Trent, Judy Kay and Aaron Quigley (2006). Tabletop sharing of digital photographs for the elderly. In R. Grinter, T. Rodden, P. Aoki, E. Cutrell, R. Jeffries and G. Olson (eds.). Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 22 to 27, 2006. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 781–790.
Cagley, Meghan and Marlene Lee (2009). Social Support, Networks, and Happiness, Today's research on aging, Population Reference Bureau, Washington, DC.
comScore Inc. (2011). The 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review, comScore, Reston, VA.
Consolvo, Sunny, Peter Roessler and Brett Shelton (2004a). The CareNet Display: Lessons Learned from an In Home Evaluation of an Ambient Display. In: N. Davies, E. Mynatt and I. Siio (eds.): UbiComp 2004: Ubiquitous Computing. Heidelberg: Springer Berlin, pp. 1–17.
Consolvo, Sunny, Peter Roessler, Brett E. Shelton, Anthony LaMarca, Bill Schilit and Sara Bly (2004b). Technology for care networks of elders. IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 22–29.
Cooper, Alan (2004). The Inmates Are Running the Asylum. Indianapolis, USA: Sams Publishing
Cornejo, Raymundo, Jesús Favela and Mónica Tentori (2010). Ambient Displays for Integrating Older Adults into Social Networking Sites. In: G. Kolfschoten, T. Herrmann and S. Lukosch (eds.): Collaboration and Technology. Heidelberg: Springer Berlin, pp. 321–336.
Czaja, Sara J., Neil Charness, Arthur D. Fisk, Christopher Hertzog, Sankaran N Nair, Wendy A. Rogers and Joseph Sharit (2006). Factors predicting the use of technology: findings from the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE). Psychology & Aging, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 333–352.
Davis, Hilary, Mikael B. Skov, Malthe Stougaard and Frank Vetere (2007). Virtual box: supporting mediated family intimacy through virtual and physical play. Proceedings of the 19th Australasian conference on Computer-Human Interaction: Entertaining User Interfaces, Adelaide, Australia, November 28 to 30, 2007. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 151–159.
de Belvis, Antonio, Maria Avolio, Lorella Sicuro, Aldo Rosano, Elide Latini, Gianfranco Damiani and Walter Ricciardi (2008). Social relationships and HRQL: A cross-sectional survey among older Italian adults. BMC Public Health, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 348.
Deschamps, Jean-Claude (1997). Attribution or Explanations in Everyday Life. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 7–24.
DiMicco, Joan, David R. Millen, Werner Geyer, Casey Dugan, Beth Brownholtz and Michael Muller (2008). Motivations for social networking at work. Proceedings of the 2008 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work, San Diego, CA, USA, November 8 to 12, 2008. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 711–720.
Fox, Susannah (2001). Wired Seniors, Pew Internet & American Life Project, Electronic Article, Pew Foundation, September 9 2001. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2001/Wired-Seniors.aspx. Accessed 2 April 2010.
Fratiglioni, Laura, Hui-Xin Wang, Kjerstin Ericsson, Margaret Maytan and Bengt Winblad (2000). Influence of social network on occurrence of dementia: a community-based longitudinal study. The Lancet, vol. 355, no. 9212, pp. 1315–1319.
Frohlich, David, Allan Kuchinsky, Celine Pering, Abbe Don and Steven Ariss (2002). Requirements for photoware. Proceedings of the 2002 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 16 to 20, 2002. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 166-175.
Giles, Lynne C., Gary F. V. Glonek, Mary A. Luszcz and Gary R. Adrews (2005). Effect of social networks on 10 year survival in very old Australians: The Australian longitudinal study of aging Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. 59, pp. 574–579.
Gutwin, Carl, Saul Greenberg and Mark Roseman (1996). Workspace Awareness in Real-Time Distributed Groupware: Framework, Widgets, and Evaluation. In M.A. Sasse, J. Cunningham and R.L. Winder (eds.). Proceedings of HCI on People and Computers XI, London, UK, August 20 to 23, 1996. London, UK: Springer-Verlag, pp. 281–298.
House, James S., Karl R. Landis and Debra Umberson (1988). Social relationships and health. Science, vol. 241, no. 4865, pp. 540–545.
Iliffe, Steve, Kalpa Kharicha, Danielle Harari, Cameron Swift, Gerhard Gillmann and Andreas E. Stuck (2007). Health risk appraisal in older people 2: the implications for clinicians and commissioners of social isolation risk in older people. The British Journal of General Practice: The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, vol. 57, no. 537, pp. 277–282.
Jaspars, Jos, Frank D. Fincham and Miles Hewstone (1983). Attribution theory and research: conceptual, developmental, and social dimensions: Academic Press
Joinson, Adam N. (2008). Looking at, looking up or keeping up with people?: motives and use of facebook. Proceeding of the twenty-sixth annual SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, Florence, Italy, April 5 to 10, 2008. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 1027–1036.
Jones, Edward E. and Richard E. Nisbett (1971). The actor and the observer: divergent perceptions of the causes of behavior: General Learning Press, pp. 16.
Judge, Tejinder K., Carman Neustaedter and Andrew F. Kurtz (2010). The family window: the design and evaluation of a domestic media space. Proceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 to 15, 2010. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 2361–2370.
Kaplan, Andreas M. and Michael Haenlein (2011). The early bird catches the news: Nine things you should know about micro-blogging. Business Horizons, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 105–113.
Kassin, Saul, Steven Fein and Hazel R. Markus (2010). Social Psychology. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, pp. 752.
Keller, Ianus, Wouter van der Hoog and Pieter J. Stappers (2004). Gust of me: reconnecting mother and son. Pervasive Computing, IEEE, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 22–27.
Lehtinen, Vilma, Jaana Näsänen and Risto Sarvas (2009). "A little silly and empty-headed": older adults' understandings of social networking sites. Proceedings of the 23rd British HCI Group Annual Conference on People and Computers: Celebrating People and Technology, Cambridge, United Kingdom, September 1 to 5, 2009. Swinton, UK: British Computer Society, pp. 45–54.
Lenhart, Amanda (2009). Adults and Social Network Websites Pew internet & american life project, Washington D.C.
Lenhart, Amanda, Kristen Purcell, Aaron Smith and Kathryn Zickuhr (2010). Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults, Pew internet & american life project, Washington D.C.
Leonardi, Chiara, Adriano Albertini, Fabio Pianesi and Massimo Zancanaro (2010). An exploratory study of a touch-based gestural interface for elderly. Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 16 to 20, 2010. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 845–850.
Liechti, Olivier and Tadao Ichikawa (2000). A digital photography framework enabling affective awareness in home communication. Personal Technologies, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 6–24.
Lindley, Siân E., Richard Harper and Abigail Sellen (2008). Designing for elders: exploring the complexity of relationships in later life. Proceedings of the 22nd British HCI Group Annual Conference on HCI 2008: People and Computers XXII: Culture, Creativity, Interaction - Volume 1, Liverpool, United Kingdom, September 1 to 5, 2008. Swinton, Uk: British Computer Society, pp. 77–86.
Lindley, Siãn E., Richard Harper and Abigail Sellen (2009). Desiring to be in touch in a changing communications landscape: attitudes of older adults. Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, Boston, MA, USA, April 4 to 9, 2009. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 1693–1702.
Lindley, Siân E., Richard Harper and Abigail Sellen (2010). Designing a technological playground: a field study of the emergence of play in household messaging. Proceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 to 15, 2010. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 2351–2360.
Markopoulos, Panos, Natalia Romero, Joy van Baren, Wijnand IJsselsteijn, Boris de Ruyter and Babak Farshchian (2004). Keeping in touch with the family: home and away with the ASTRA awareness system. CHI '04 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, Vienna, Austria, April 24 to 29, 2004. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 1351–1354.
Messina, Chris (2010). Actions, Activity streams, Web Page, March 2010. http://wiki.activitystrea.ms/w/page/23655855/Actions. Accessed 12 July 2010.
Mynatt, Elizabeth D., Jim Rowan, Sarah Craighill and Annie Jacobs (2001). Digital family portraits: supporting peace of mind for extended family members. Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, Seattle, Washington, USA, March 31 to April 5, 2001. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 333–340.
Neustaedter, Carman and Alice J. Bernheim Brush (2006). “LINC-ing” the family: the participatory design of an inkable family calendar. In R. Grinter, T. Rodden, P. Aoki, E. Cutrell, R. Jeffries and G. Olson (eds.). Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 22 to 27, 2006. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 141–150.
Neustaedter, Carman and Tejinder K. Judge (2010). Peek-A-Boo: the design of a mobile family media space. Proceedings of the 12th ACM international conference adjunct papers on Ubiquitous computing, Copenhagen, Denmark, September 26 to 29, 2010. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 449–450.
Nonnecke, Blair, Jenny Preece and Dorine Andrews (2004). What Lurkers and Posters Think of Each Other [online community]. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, USA, January 5 to 8, 2004. Washington, DC, USA: IEEE Computer Society, pp. 9.
Plaisant, Catherine, Aaron Clamage, Hilary Browne Hutchinson, Benjamin B. Bederson and Allison Druin (2006). Shared family calendars: Promoting symmetry and accessibility. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 313–346.
Raffle, Hayes, Rafael Ballagas, Glenda Revelle, Hiroshi Horii, Sean Follmer, Janet Go, Emily Reardon, Koichi Mori, Joseph Kaye and Mirjana Spasojevic (2010). Family story play: reading with young children (and elmo) over a distance. Proceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 to 15, 2010. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 1583–1592.
Romero, Natalia, Panos Markopoulos, Joy Baren, Boris Ruyter, Wijnand Ijsselsteijn and Babak Farshchian (2007). Connecting the family with awareness systems. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 299–312.
Seeman, T. E. (1996). Social ties and health: the benefits of social integration. Annals of Epidemiology, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 442–451.
Simon, Bernd (2004). Identity in modern society: a social psychological perspective. Oxford: Blackwell Pub.
Strauss, Anselm and Juliet M. Corbin (2007). Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Newbury Park, Calif.: SAGE Publications
Thompson, Clive (2008). Brave New World of Digital Intimacy, The New York Times Magazine, Electronic Article, The New York Times, September 5, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/magazine/07awareness-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1. Accessed 10 February 2011.
Thompson, Adriana, Aurelia Friedland and Jenny Cargiuolo (2005). Rüüg: long-distance communication. CHI '05 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, Portland, OR, USA, April 2 to 7, 2005. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 1829–1832.
Viswanath, Bimal, Alan Mislove, Meeyoung Cha and Krishna P. Gummadi (2009). On the evolution of user interaction in Facebook. Proceedings of the 2nd ACM workshop on Online social networks, Barcelona, Spain, August 17, 2009. New York, USA: ACM, pp. 37–42.
Weiser, Mark and John Seely Brown (1996). Designing calm technology, PowerGrid Journal, Web Page. http://nano.xerox.com/weiser/calmtech/calmtech.htm. Accessed 21 October 2009.
This work was partially funded by CONACYT under contract CB-20080-105674 and trough a scholarship provided to the first author.
About this article
Cite this article
Cornejo, R., Tentori, M. & Favela, J. Ambient Awareness to Strengthen the Family Social Network of Older Adults. Comput Supported Coop Work 22, 309–344 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10606-012-9166-2
- Ambient awareness
- Family ties
- Situated displays
- Social media
- Social network