Mobile User Interface for Seniors: An Impact of Ageing Population on Mobile Design

By Chui Yin Wong, Chee Weng Khong and Harold Thwaites.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The world is experiencing the growing phenomena of an ageing population. Over 82 million people who constitute the ‘baby boomer’ population, born in 1946-1964, will join the older adult population in the next 15 years. Although there is a growing research interest in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and on the ageing population in recent years, there are still limited studies on the relation of mobile technology and senior citizens. As such, with the significant growth of global ageing phenomena, there are plenty of opportunities for mobile operators and service providers to consider in the grey market. Nonetheless, current interests of the global mobile market are still mainly focused on youngsters and young adults aged between 18 to 40 years. Given the limited studies in this context, this paper aims to review the existing literature on mobile user interface for seniors, and to provide design recommendations for designers and manufacturers.

Keywords: Mobile Phone, User Interface, Older Adults, Senior Citizens, Grey Market

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.231-250. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 704.856KB).

Chui Yin Wong

Lecturer, Interface Design, Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Chui Yin Wong is Lecturer for Interface Design (ID) Department, Faculty of Creative Multimedia (FCM), Multimedia University (MMU) Malaysia. She also plays a role as an Industrial R&D Liaison for ID. Chui Yin’s research interests are interface design, usability, user experience, interaction design, user research, inclusive design, mobile technologies, and Human-Computer Interaction. She is the co-Program Chair (Design Case Studies) for Interaction Design for International Development (IDID) 2010 in India. She also serves as the co-chair for MYREN (Malaysian Research and Education Network) Interface Design and Ambient Intelligence (IDAI) Working Group, and also Special Interest Group (SIG) on Universal Usability and Interaction Design (UUID) at MMU. Her most recent project on ‘mobile social network application: MOM-i’, funded by Malaysian Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), won a Silver award under Multimedia category at an international exhibition ITEX 2009. Currently, she is leading a project on ‘mobile and senior’, which is funded by Telenor Research and Innovation Centre for Asia Pacific (TRICAP).

Chee Weng Khong

Lecturer, Interface Design, Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Chee Weng is the Head of the Interface Design Department at Multimedia University, Malaysia. His professional background is in product design, engineering design and design ergonomics. His current research activity looks at improving the usability of local public telecommunication products and services. Chee Weng has led several research centres at the university including the Centre for Collaborative Multimedia, Centre for Interpretation and Expression, and the Centre for Ergonomics since 1998. When he took over the lead for the Interface Design Department in 2004, he actively promoted user-centred design in the products, services and applications for Information and Communication Technologies. Chee Weng's other interests include applied Quality Function Deployment in design, collaborative design (co-design), developing design-based curricula for Industrially Developing Countries (IDCs) and rapid prototyping. He is also the co-Chair for the Interface Design and Ambient Intelligence (IDAI) Working Group, which is one of the Research Areas under the auspices of the Malaysian National Research and Education Network programme. Recently, Chee Weng formed a special interest group in Universal Usability and Interaction Design at Multimedia University. This SIG deals with the usability practices and universal design projects particularly on areas relating to bridging the digital divide.

Harold Thwaites

Dean, Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Associate Professor Thwaites holds degrees in Communication Arts (University of Montreal) and Educational Technology (Concordia University) in addition to a professional 10-year background as an Associate Producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Thwaites’ extensive research and teaching is in: media production, multimedia, information design, virtual heritage, audience/user media impact communication analysis and 3-D spatial media. He pioneered the development of the New Media production stream at Concordia University’s Communication Studies Department in the early 1980’s and originated many new courses including Virtual Reality, Intermedia, Children’s Television and Media Research Laboratory to name a few. He has lectured in the U.K., Belgium, Germany, Greece, Japan, Taiwan, China, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, and the United States and co-authored two textbooks on Communication Analysis and Biocybernetic Research. Thwaites was one of the founding members of the Hexagram Institute and held the post of Research Director for Immersive Environments, VR and Audience ( 2003-2005. He is currently President of the International Society on Virtual systems and Multimedia (VSMM). Originally from Montreal, Canada where he taught at Concordia University for 25 years, Thwaites is now Dean of the Faculty of Creative Multimedia, at Multimedia University in Cyberjaya Malaysia.


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