Reports from older adults, and their friends and families, about ways they have solved challenges that were getting in the way of living life the way they wanted. These pieces of content contain real life experiences from makers, inventors, hackers of aging, and regular people dealing with growing older.
What happens when you bring together a group of older adult Longevity Explorers and the teams participating in the Stanford Longevity Design Challenge? You get some interesting and contrasting opinions about what the differences should be between designing for a 25 yr. old and designing for an 85 yr. old. Table of Contents Intergenerational Workshop: … Read more
There is a prevailing thought that products for older adults need to be designed with “different” things in mind than products for other demographics. But what should those “different” principles be? And is this idea even correct? We are exploring these ideas in a series of explorations and articles. Our goal is to shed light on what … Read more
When the conversation turns to interacting with customers before a product is “finished”, most product developers I’ve talked to are enthusiastic. But they have very different opinions about when to interact with customers, how to interact with them, and for what purpose. I believe there is a way of thinking that helps resolve these questions, depending on the details of the company, and the stage of product development they are at. This article is to share it.
After several years of product evaluations and unmet need explorations with groups of older adults, this is my most striking take-away. “While there is no shortage of problems for which older adults would like solutions, the vast majority of products we have looked at are either hard for elderly people to use, or do poorly the “job” our older adult demographic wants to get done”. This article is about why (in my opinion) this is the case, and about errors to avoid.
Using a handful of simple, non-intrusive sensors, retired engineer Bob Glicksman has been able to learn all sorts of important things about the daily routine of an elderly person, who has cognitive impairment, and for whom he cares. He has been able to make multiple successful interventions to stave off what might have otherwise been serious adverse events. In fact, this simple sensor setup has worked better than he expected, and he shares his experiences, as an example of a real world use case in which a small addition of technology can accomplish a lot.
In our first 24 months, our 5 circles of older adults (Longevity Explorers) had more than 100 face-to-face circle meetings at which together we explored unmet needs related to growing older; tried out, critiqued and compared various interesting products; and engaged in brainstorming and ideation for new and better products to help improve the quality of life as we age.
Seniors report avoiding, or using in as stealth a manner as possible, technologies that would improve the quality of their lives — even enhance their safety — because they are associated with or specifically designed for the elderly. The paradox, then, for good UX design that addresses seniors’ needs is to do so without explicitly seeming to target the “old.”