On Some Aspects of Improving Mobile Applications for the Elderly
Improving the quality of life of elderly people is an emerging issue within our information society for both research and development. This paper addresses some issues on the development of applications for mobile devices, which have been designed to enhance the quality of life of the growing number of elderly people, and how they can be made more acceptable to the target population. We summarize some relevant issues in order to devise a research methodology to cover more than just the technological and physical aspects of user interfacing but also psychological and sociological aspects. One aspect of achieving this aim is to confront designers and developers with those problems that the elderly face daily and which are not easily understood – especially by younger designers and developers. Finally, we present some issues on how to simulate certain physical constraints of elderly by using the AgeSim, which is a simulation suit. However, not only physical but also cognitive impairment cause problems amongst elderly and result in fear, anxiety and consequently in rejection. The main goal of this paper is to raise awareness amongst developers on which problems are to be taken into considerations during design and development of mobile applications for the elderly.
KeywordsUsability Mobile Interfaces User-Centered Design Age Simulator
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