HCI International 2017
Vancouver, Canada, 9 - 14 July 2017
Vancouver Convention Centre
Navigation Menu

T06: Designing Digital Technology for an Aging Population

Sunday, 9 July 2017, 13:30 – 17:30

Jeff Johnson, Ph.D. (short bio)
University of San Francisco and Wiser Usability, Inc., USA

Kate Finn, Ph.D. (short bio)
Wiser Usability, Inc.


Attendees will:

  • learn that the developed world’s population is rapidly aging
  • learn about age-related factors that affect the usability of digital user interfaces
  • learn how poorly-designed apps, devices, and websites can present barriers for older people, and how to improve a product’s or service’s usability for older adults
  • learn special considerations and methods for designing and evaluating digital products and services with older adults.
  • gain hands-on experience using age-friendly design guidelines to review websites and apps

Content and benefits:

The population of the developed world is aging. Most websites, apps, and digital devices are used by adults aged 50+ as well as by younger adults, so they should be designed accordingly. This course, based on the presenter’s new book, presents age-related factors that affect older adults' ability to use digital technology, as well as design guidelines that reflect older adults’ varied capabilities, usage patterns, and preferences. This tutorial covers the following topics:

  • demographics of users of digital technology, by age
  • age-related factors affecting ability to use computers, mobile devices, and the Web,
  • common design problems that decrease usability for older adults,
  • design guidelines to help designers improve experiences for technology users of all ages.
  • hands-on small group exercise reviewing websites and/or apps for compliance with age-friendly guidelines

Target Audience:

Interaction and UI designers and developers of all levels. Also testers and managers.

Bio Sketch of Presenters:

Jeff Johnson is Professor of Computer Science at the University of San Francisco. He has B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale and Stanford Universities. He worked at Xerox, US West, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun. He has also taught at Stanford, Mills, and the University of Canterbury. He is a member of the CHI Academy and a SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement in Practice awardee. He has many authored papers and chapters on HCI, and the books GUI Bloopers (1 & 2), Web Bloopers, Designing with the Mind in Mind (1 & 2), Conceptual Models (w/Austin Henderson), and Designing User Interfaces for an Aging Population (w/Kate Finn).
Kate Finn is co-founder of Wiser Usability. After receiving a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from Georgetown University, she conducted research on natural language understanding and automated speech recognition. At SRI International, she created prototypes of graphical UIs. She co-edited the book Video-Mediated Communication and obtained a Certificate in Gerontology to better understand the capabilities and needs of older adults. She co-authored Designing User Interfaces for an Aging Population (w/Jeff Johnson).

Top of Page

follow us Icon Link: Follow us on Facebook Icon Link: Follow us on Twitter