Engaging older people with participatory design

I. Iacono, P. Marti

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

    17 Citations (Scopus)
    5 Downloads (Pure)


    We present a design case focusing on participatory design (PD) with older people. We experimented with PD techniques to foster engagement with participants in development of a graphical user interface (GUI) for controlling a robotic system in a smart home environment. The tenet of our approach is that to engage older people in the design of future systems, it is of paramount importance to increment and reinforce knowledge using different techniques and materials, and to create an empathic and trusted relationship between participants and designers. We experimented with different techniques for achieving this, from video-based scenario evaluation to hands-on and gaming activity in which participants had to evaluate the dynamics of a context-dependent interface using an expression-rich modality of interaction. This permitted exploration of experiential elements of design, to reduce the need for the participants to engage in abstract thought and to collect insights on design solutions while having fun together. The entire procedure implied incremental PD cycles in which knowledge was shared and consolidated through a learning process based on doing and playing together. The final reflections highlight a number of recommendations that demand consideration when undertaking research and design work with older people.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication8th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Fun, Fast, Foundational (NordCHI'14, Helsinki, Finland, October 26-30, 2014)
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-2542-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event7th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, NordiCHI 2012 - Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 14 Oct 201217 Oct 2012
    Conference number: 7


    Conference7th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, NordiCHI 2012
    Abbreviated titleNordiCHI 2012
    Other2nd International Workshop on the Interplay Between User Experience Evaluation and Software Development, I-UxSED 2012 - In Conjunction with the 7th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, NordiCHI 2012


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