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Thai Le

Graduated: January 1, 2014

Thesis/Dissertation Title:

Design and Evaluation of Health Visualizations for Older Adults

The older adult population is one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the United States. Associated with this aging population are changes in health and wellness. Smart home technologies can be a valuable resource to support older adults in maintaining independence while encouraging engagement in care. To present data collected from home based monitoring including telehealth, smart homes, and other informatics tools in a meaningful manner, I describe work in the development of health visualizations for older adults. Though a body of work has shown that older adults find utility in technology to support their health and wellness, there has been limited research examining how this would translate to data visualizations. I start by looking at potential differences in how older adults process graphical information compared to the general population through a set psychophysics experiments. I then apply a user-centered design approach to iterate on health visualizations from early mockups to fully interactive prototypes. I describe different approaches for evaluating visualizations with older adults, and report on the findings of the evaluations. This work highlights key issues for how older adults use health visualizations. Based on these evaluations, I also provide a set of design guidelines when designing health visualizations for older adults.

Last Known Position:

User Experience Researcher, Amazon Web Services


George Demiris (Chair), Hilaire Thompson, David W. McDonald, Cecilia Aragon (GSR)