Engaging older people using participatory design

Stephen Lindsay, Daniel Jackson, Guy Schofield, Patrick Olivier

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

    129 Citations (Scopus)


    The use of digital technologies is increasingly proposed in health and social care to address the aging population phenomenon but, in practice, the designers of these technologies are ill equipped to design for older people. We suggest participatory design as an approach to improving the quality of design for older people but, based on previous work and our own experiences, identify four central issues that participatory design approaches need to address. We describe an approach to early engagement in design with older people that address each of these issues and some of our experiences applying the approach in a variety of different design projects. We conclude by discussing some of the issues that have been highlighted when attempting to apply this approach in different design contexts and the issues that have been raised when working with partners who are less committed to the idea of engaging with older adults in participatory design.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConference Proceedings - The 30th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2012
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2012
    EventInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2012 - Austin, United States of America
    Duration: 5 May 201210 May 2012
    Conference number: 30th


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2012
    Abbreviated titleCHI 2012
    CountryUnited States of America


    • Changing attitudes
    • Empowerment
    • Older people
    • Participatory design

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