An ageing population and a rise in dementia among the older community mean that it is becoming increasingly important for people who are designing digital technologies to engage older people in the process. However, it is rare in the field of HCI for research to even refer to older adults. For example, at a recent leading HCI conference, less than 2% of papers touched on issues related to ageing.
The purpose of this PhD, therefore, was to investigate the ways in which older adults and people with dementia can be engaged in the design of digital technologies. We recruited numerous people from these groups to create participatory design techniques and develop prototypes in response to the needs they articulated. This research was carried out alongside the KITE and OASIS projects, and the design approach we developed during the course of this PhD was applied to the issues those projects addressed and then refined using their findings.
Date: October 2006 – August 2011