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Call For Research Into Elderly Access To Mobile Phones.

Mobile phones and other mobile technologies have great potential to help older people, but existing methods of evaluating older people’s access requirements for such technologies are inadequate, according to a paper presented at last week’s British HCI (human-computer interaction) 2008 conference at Liverpool John Moores University (http://www.hci2008.org/).

The paper, by Sofianiza Malik and Alistair Edwards from the Department of Computer Science, University of York, was presented at a workshop on HCI and the older population.

“Many of the commonly-used techniques of requirements capture for mobile technologies are inappropriate for use with older people, for a variety of reasons,” it says. “These may be related to problems associated with age, cognitive complexity and motivation. The result is to restrict the potential of mobile technologies to provide support to older people.”

The York team is currently undertaking research to identify user requirement methods that are suitable and appropriate for older people using mobile technology.

Other papers presented at Liverpool covered issues including web access for older people; and inclusive design for older people. All the workshop papers can be accessed online at: http://fastlink.headstar.com/hci1.

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