Tag Archive - products

3 tips for designing user experiences for the elderly

From my own research on end-of-life decision-making, as well as working with my design students for the elderly population in Singapore, I have come up with three insights:

1. Talk, talk, talk – Build relationships with the elderly. Consulting with users is the gold-standard of user-centred design, and it is nothing new, but I continue to see designers designing for target groups they don’t understand. Designers tend to design for themselves, and they get away with it most of the time because the technology-consuming audience IS mostly in the same age group. With the elderly, however, failing to understand their unique circumstances can leave a project dead in the water.

Anecdotally, most developers I have met are in the 25- to 35-year-old range. If we define the elderly as anyone over 65, then we are talking about a minimum 30-year age gap, often more. In most of Asia, the past 30 years was a time of rapid developmental change, from villages to cities, from black and white TVs to YouTube. Jargon has changed and horizons have been expanded.

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Lack of products for seniors

Later today, Philips Singapore will announce the winners of its Philips Future Living Spaces contest organised as part of the company’s 60th anniversary celebrations. The contest was organised to inspire the next generation to think of solutions to improve Singapore’s living spaces and issues such climate change, an ageing population, urbanisation and sustainability were brought up. More than 60 ideas were submitted by local tertiary students and 20 were shortlisted.

Of the finalists, 21-year-old Juventia Tjahyono from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, was the only one who tackled the ageing population. Agelessvoice gets the low-down on her idea:

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