Graduated: January 1, 2015
Designing Wellness Tools for and with Older Adults
ver the past few decades, the use of new technologies such as computing and internet technology, has expanded rapidly. The emergence of these new technologies has created opportunities for health related uses. With the growing older adult population, there has been increased interest in using tools to support aging, health, and wellness of the older adult population. While technologies have been used with older adults for purposes such as symptom management and cognitive training, many technologies are not designed with older adults in mind. While there have been some studies that look at the usability of a single component, there have been few studies looking at a technology platform that integrates several features together. Designing specifically for older adults is important since this population has its own unique health and information needs.
In my talk, I will present my work in exploring the wants and needs of older adults for integrated health and wellness tools. I will discuss the three phases of my dissertation work including the results of focus groups seeking to understand the attitudes and preferences towards a multifunctional wellness tool, the usability issues of a popular, commercially available wellness tool, and the reactions and feedback of older adults to scenarios and storyboards showing design ideas generated after the first two phases. Results from these studies help to better understand older adults’ perceptions, attitudes and issues with potential wellness tools and inform the design of new effective and efficient systems for older adults.
Last Known Position:
User Researcher, ACTIVE Network
George Demiris (Chair), Hilaire Thompson, Anne Turner, Julie Kientz (GSR)