Playing with persona: Highlighting older adults’ lived experience with the digital media

Larissa Hjorth, Jacob Sheahan, Bernardo Figueiredo, Diane M. Martin, Mike Reid, Torgeir Aleti, Mark Buschgens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns (2020-2021), almost all facets of life were rendered digital – health, work, schooling, and logistics. In this phenomenon, not only did digital access become synonymous with social inclusion but inequalities were also amplified – particularly in the case of older adults (65 years and over). Contemporary older adults represent one of the most diverse spectrums of digital media users – spanning from technologically savvy to non-users. As the first generation of older adults to age in and through data in a data-saturated world, their understandings and experiences can teach us much about the possibilities and limitations of new media. Understanding these practices through cultural probes – like drawing, photos and writing prompts – can enable playful behaviours that not only elicit new thoughts and actions but also allow insight into some of the tacit lived experience that can support opportunities for technological use. In this paper, we ask: How can we playfully co-design through personas to enhance understandings of older adults’ lived experience of digital media? In this paper, we focus on the six co-design workshops in which we deployed personas as representations of digital experience to challenge, explore, provoke and help build nuanced tools for implementation. Through personas, speculative fiction and lived experience collide, offering some fascinating ways to rethink the digital-social dimension for older adults now and into the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Early online date8 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • older adults
  • co-design
  • information and communication technologies
  • digital media
  • data
  • social inclusion
  • digital literacy
  • play


Dive into the research topics of 'Playing with persona: Highlighting older adults’ lived experience with the digital media'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this