A four-year study reveals that not only do the 60+ struggle to interact with common contemporary technologies but younger groups as well.
The research concluded that older people show slower, less intuitive interaction with more errors than younger people. But younger people – in the 40 to 59 year age group – were also having difficulties.
The study conducted by the People and Systems (PAS) lab in the Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) School of Design also found that:
- Past research has found that prior experience with a product is the leading contributor to intuitive use but the new research found that older people were less familiar and used fewer functions on the products they already had in their own homes than younger people.”
- Prior experience with a product is the leading contributor to intuitive use
- Older people were less familiar and used fewer functions on the products they already
- Limited familiarity with the functionality of the products they already have meant they were less able to intuitively use newer products or newer versions of the same type of product.
- Technology is changing so rapidly that taking a technology break for a few years can quite quickly lead to loss of familiarity and experience.
- The commercial imperative to continue to innovate and the tendency of designers to assume a certain level of familiarity with previous technological interfaces and standardised symbols; and learning to use a new technological device can seem an impossible task.
- Working memory tests correlated strongly with slower, less accurate and less intuitive use of interfaces.
Our AF Audit Tool includes User Interface as part of the product usability test.