Visual and physical Impairment în elders

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1. Introduction 3

1.1 User-Centered Design 3

1.2 Inclusive Design 4

2. Method 5

2.1 Interviews 5

2.2 Conducted Interviews 5

2.2.1 Participants 5

2.2.2 Tasks 6

2.3 Persona 6

2.4 Empathic evaluation 7

2.4.1 Complete Exclusion calculator tool 8

2.4.2 Environment & Materials 8

3. Results 9

3.1 Interview findings: 9

3.2 Empathic evaluation findings 9

4. Discussion 10

5. Conclusion 12

Appendix 1: Interview Questions 14

Extras din document

User-Centered Design

User centered design (UCD) is a methodology used by developers and designer to ensure they’re creating products that meet users’ needs. This process is not based just on some assumptions about users behavior, instead it requires proof that our design is effective. If UCD is done correctly, the products should engage the users actively and positively (Lowdermilk 2013). UCD is a broad term to describe design processes in which end-users influence how a design takes shape. It represents a broad philosophy and variety of methods.

There are multiple ways to involve users in UCD projects, by using interviews, questionnaires, focus groups etc. but what’s the most important thing is the fact that they are involved in one way or another. The purpose of this process is to make sure that the user is able to use the product as intended with a minimum effort to learn how to use it (Abras, Maloney-Krichmar, Preece, 2004).

The philosophy of user-centered design is a way of achieving more effective systems. It challenges designers to build the interface to fit the tasks, goals, and needs of the users. This philosophy desire to obtain optimal functioning of the whole human-body system. The implementation of this method and philosophy can greatly reduce errors and further improve productivity. Along with user-centered design also comes improved user acceptance and satisfaction, by reducing the frustrations of today’s technologies. (Endsley, Jones; 2004,)

Telling designers that products should be intuitive is not enough; some design principles are needed to guide the design. While there are many principles on how to design and how to involve the user in the process, the following are the main principles of UCD according to Endsley and Jones (2004).

Organize Technology around the User’s Goals, Tasks, and Abilities; In the information age, in the complex systems in which users need to pursue their goals, interfaces and capabilities need to be designed to support these changing goals in a dynamic fashion, in other words to support goal-oriented processing.

Technology Should Be Organized around the Way Users Process Information and Make Decisions; Decision makers must do more than simply perceive their environment to have good situational awareness. The important understanding lays in what they are perceiving in light of their goals. The basis for decision making therefore is formed by an operator’s understanding of the situation as a whole. Designing to support decision making involves designing to enhance the user’s ability to maintain situation awareness.

Technology Must Keep the User in Control and Aware of the State of the System; As long as situation awareness is compromised, the ability of the user to be an effective decision maker is threatened. A key premise of user-centered design is that while a person does not need to perform every task, the person does need to be in control of managing what the systems are doing in order to maintain the situation awareness needed for successful performance across a wide variety of conditions and situations.

New emerging technologies and designs are planned to the “Mainstream” consumer needs, neglecting older and disabled user communities. It is the designers job to ask the right questions and to discover what they’re really asking for.

1.2 Inclusive Design

Everyone differs from each other one way or another. Some are bigger, some are smaller. Some are right handed, some are left handed. People have different capabilities as well, while some function ‘normally’, a lot of people have some sort of illness or disability that affects them in their daily life. It can be everything from reduced mobility, sight and strength to knowledge and understanding. When designing products, it’s important not to only include people who function ‘normally’, but also people with different needs.

The British Standards Institute (2005) defines inclusive design as: The design of mainstream products and/or services that are accessible to, and usable by, people with the widest range of abilities within the widest range of situations without the need for special adaptation or design.

Inclusive Design is viewed as integrated, comprehensive design which includes all aspects of a product used by consumers of diverse age and capability, throughout the product’s lifecycle. Based on the principle that access to information, products and facilities is a fundamental human right its goal is to meet the needs of all consumers. It is possible to identify and quantify users who have difficulty using a product by determining the product capability demands. Designing products to decrease such demands can attract additional market sectors and increase satisfaction (The British Standard 2005).

According to Clarkson et al (2003) the focus in Europe has been on social inclusion in comparison to US where it has been on individual rights. These drivers have resulted in a range of philosophic, academic and practical approaches ranging from universal design in the US and the European counterpart called design for all. Both of these approaches have led to initiatives that have responded more directly to an ageing population.

The European model evolves as one with focus on participation of difference at the group level. 1993 was designated 'European Year of Older People ' stressing the group rather than the individual. The American model emphasis the rights of the individual. The final result is the same, but the approaches reflect different historical and social conditions. Further on, the European approach has been followed throughout the report.

This study focuses on people with visual impairment amongst older people. The surrounding environment is a complex context full of difficulties for visually impaired people. Vision enables us to perceive objects in their totality and in context. The estimated number of people visually impaired in the world is 285 million, 39 million blind and 246 million having low vision; 65 % of people visually impaired and 82% of all blind are 50 years and older. Globally the principal causes of visual impairment are uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts, 43% and 33 % respectively (Pascolini & Mariotti 2012).


Abras, C., Maloney-Krichmar, D., Preece, J. (2004). User-Centered Design: W. Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction. Bainbridge: Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications.

Barnum, C. (2011) Usability Testing Essentials. Burlington, MA: Morgan Kaufmann.

British Standards Institution (2005) Design management systems (Part 6: Managing Exclusive Design, BS7000-6:2005) Michigan State University, Michigan, US.

Clarkson, J., Coleman, R., Keates, S., Lebbon, C. (2003) Inclusive Design: design for the whole population. London: Springer Science & Business Media.

Endsley, M. R. (2016). Designing for situation awareness: An approach to user-centered design, 2nd edition, Georgia, USA: CRC press.

Lowdermilk, T. (2013) User-centered design: a developer's guide to building user-friendly applications, Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Pascolini, D., & Mariotti, S. P. (2012). ‘Global estimates of visual impairment: 2010’, British Journal of Ophthalmology, 96(5), 614-618. Available: (accessed 14 nov 2017)

Patton, Q. (2002) Qualitative research & Evaluation methods, 3rd ed. California: Sage Publications.

Stickdorn M., Schneider J., and co-authors. (2012) This is Service Design Thinking, Hoboken,

New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

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