How should technologies be developed for easy engagement?
- Innovation for Ageing, Mobility & Transport
A project entitled older travellers and technology engagement (OTTE), commissioned by Transport Systems Catapult, funded by Department for Transport, was completed recently by Transport researchers at Newcastle University.
"Among the 32 people, 25 were members of Voice North."
The purpose of this research is to answer the following questions:
- What is the scale of the problem?
- What are the key barriers to engaging with new and emerging technologies for older people, and how do these barriers differ by type of older person? Where older people have generally engaged with some forms of new technology, why have other older people not done so?
- Where do well-designed examples of new and emerging technology already exist (in transport and other sectors) that meet the needs of older people? Why have these technologies been used successfully by older people?
- What specifically needs to change to enable greater numbers of older travellers to access technology to help people to plan and make journeys?
- Where is further research needed?
To seek the answers, we reviewed over 200 literatures including previous research project reports, journal papers, government documents and news articles. We also interviewed 32 people aged from 64 to 96, with an average of just over 74. Among the 32 people, 25 were members of Voice North. The conversations with our interviewees enabled us to have a sound understanding of what technologies were welcomed and well-used by older people, how they managed to learn and use these technologies to enrich their everyday life and travel, and what difficulties they encountered whilst trying to use new and emerging technologies.
"The conversations with our interviees enabled us to have a sound understanding of what technologies were welcomed and well-used by older people..."
There is a strong view that ‘getting it right for older people’ yields more positive experiences for younger people too – ‘design for all’. But underpinning this is the need for technology to enable independence and to take away control from older travellers.
If you are interested in more details, please click here for the full report.