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Interface update from older adult users’ perspective
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Information Systems.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Information Systems.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Is it unavoidable fact that the interface of a program will change when the program is updated. It is a well-known problem that such changes lead to usability issues, even if the new interface in itself is usable. In increasingly digitalized society where using computers and the Internet is no longer a matter of interest, but a necessity to manage everyday life, it is important that older generation is included in the rapid development. Older adults generally suffer from physical, motor and cognitive decline that can create barrier to using computers. Changing interface can be particularly problematic for this age group, and a smooth transition from the old interface to the new one is needed. Fifteen older and five younger computer users were recruited, to study how a drastically modified computer interface influences older adults as computer users. Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 was used as testing software for the case study where the participants were asked to conduct a series of tasks to observe the effects of first time experience with the new interface. The attitudes and the emotions towards the new interface, as well as the difficulties encountered during the first time use were studied in the thesis. The result showed the clear difference between the younger and older participants. Older participants generally had a more positive attitude towards the new browser, even though they encountered more difficulties during the test. The younger participants managed to complete the tasks with less assistance, but were skeptical towards the new interface. Despite the differences in the emotional reactions, both groups were reluctant to update to the new interface, which was shown to be particularly problematic for older participants. The result of the study indicates that an interface that undergoes major restructuring is most likely to be problematic for senior computer users. Thus, there is a need for a bridging strategy between the old and the new interface. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 29 p.
Keyword [en]
Human-computer interaction, Interface design, Updating, Usability, Digital exclusion, Elderly as computer users
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-201988OAI: diva2:630346
Educational program
Bachelor programme in Information Systems
Available from: 2013-06-25 Created: 2013-06-18 Last updated: 2013-06-25Bibliographically approved

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