Introducing the Internet to the over-60s: Developing an email system for older novice computer users

Anna Dickinson, Alan F. Newell, Michael J. Smith, Robin L. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Contemporary technology offers many benefits to older people, but these are often rendered inaccessible through poor software design. As the Internet increasingly becomes a source of information and services it is vital to ensure that older people can access these resources. As part of project funded by the UK government, a multi-disciplinary team set out to develop usable software that would help to introduce older people to the Internet. The first step was to develop an email system for older people with no experience of Internet use. The project was intended to show that it is possible to design usable technology for this group and to explore some of the issues involved in doing so. Design and technical challenges necessitated various tradeoffs. The system produced demonstrated the success of the design decisions: it was significantly easier to use than, and preferred to, a commercial equivalent by a group of older people with no experience of Internet use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-642
Number of pages22
JournalInteracting with Computers
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005

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