In 2016, after being in the software business for many years designing products for business and consumer markets, I had an idea for a product aimed at helping older people age in their own homes. The idea was compelling and I received a lot of encouragement to pursue it. But after sketching dozens and dozens of user interface and user experience mock-ups, the fact that I had very little knowledge of how to design technology for seniors hit me like a like a slap in the face. I was humbled – to put it mildly.
This caused me to spend many months searching the web for information on “best practices” for designing technology for seniors. I quickly became frustrated by the lack of easy to find and easy to use information. While lots of information exists in many of different places, I found no comprehensive, well organized and up-to-date resource that I could refer to. This was the motivation for creating ElderTech.Org.
I’ve done my best to ferret-out and organize the most useful information on designing technology for seniors. This information was gleaned from hundreds of scholarly papers, magazine articles, blogs and websites. And I am continually monitoring dozens of “Google Alerts” for newly published information, with the aim of keeping this website up to date with state of the art information.
Some of the strategies provided here are based on research, but research conducted with varying and sometimes unknown degrees of rigor. Others are based on informal observations or anecdotal evidence. Others are simply thought to be common sense. So caution and care should be taken when using these design strategies. The trick is to understand your product’s target market, and to employ the most appropriate strategies to make it as usable by older people as possible.
I hope you find this website helpful and will take time to post your thoughts, comments, disagreements and ideas below each article.
Mark A. Jadkowski Ph.D.
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