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Title: Older people as equal partners in the creative design of digital devices
Author: Sustar, Helena
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 7141
Awarding Body: City University
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis describes research which explores the importance and feasibility of involving older people as equal partners in the creative design of digital devices for an ageing population. In exploring this topic, I have carried out two preliminary studies, a pilot study and a major empirical study. Firstly, I invited three groups of people, including very old people, active older people and postgraduate students, to evaluate a mock-­‐up model of an interactive device intended for older people that was designed using a standard design process. The results of this study suggested that products without an adequate contribution from older people would not always meet their needs. Secondly, I carried out observations of very old people, active older people, and young designers to identify factors that influence the way in which both older people and young designers can be involved in the creative design process. These factors included experiences with technology, processes and approaches currently applied with older people and designers, factors that stimulate or inhibit creativity, and practical constraints such as health issues. The results of these observations fed into the design of a pilot study, where I tested the content of a creative design process and a procedure for analysing data for the main empirical study. The main study involved three creative workshops where the same creative methods were employed with different sets of people: young designers, mixed groups (with older people and designers) and older people only. The results show that older people are able to participate in a creative design process; however, certain practical constraints have to be taken into account. Also, older people perform better when they work together with designers. Finally, the mixed groups with older people, who have relevant life experiences, and designers, who are familiar with the newest technology, may be more suitable for designing appropriate products for the older population.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: ZA4050 Electronic information resources