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Old 05-10-2019, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,604 posts, read 4,680,291 times
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The world is designed against the elderly, writes Don Norman, 83-year-old author of the industry bible Design of Everyday Things and a former Apple VP.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90338379...y-horrifies-me

Norman makes an excellent point: Better design helps everyone, not just the elderly. Good read.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,293 posts, read 4,148,032 times
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That was an excellent article; thanks for posting the link to it.

I think the biggest problem is that most people donít appreciate truly user-friendly design until they themselves actually need it, leading to a lack of market pressure to produce it. Good design simply isnít rewarded.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,604 posts, read 4,680,291 times
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I've done UI (user interface) usability testing for a bunch of SV companies: PayPal, eBay and a handful of others no longer in business.

User interfaces are designed by twenty-somethings. They want theirs to look hip and don't care if that tiny button on the screen is hard for anyone to mouse to or if the text is barely indistinguishable from the background. There's a big push to eliminate text completely and replace it with ambiguous symbols.

Some of the people I shared my concerns with just laughed at me. Others, like PayPal, took me more seriously.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,554 posts, read 17,535,380 times
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Many products' UI is simply not friendly to the elderly.

My grandmother is 83 and her "heat pump went out" a few weeks ago. The thermostat has tiny text and small buttons. It's hard for me to read. Apparently she killed the thermostat in some way. I tried showing her how to use the new one, and I think it went over her head.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,604 posts, read 4,680,291 times
Reputation: 27811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Many products' UI is simply not friendly to the elderly.

My grandmother is 83 and her "heat pump went out" a few weeks ago. The thermostat has tiny text and small buttons. It's hard for me to read. Apparently she killed the thermostat in some way. I tried showing her how to use the new one, and I think it went over her head.
Or the thermostat just died. One of the two in our CA house did that recently. They're about 25 years old, nearly as old as you. Nothing lasts forever.

She probably just needs practice using the new one. I sometimes have trouble with hotel thermostats. Some interfaces are intuitive and others...just aren't.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:40 AM
 
5,114 posts, read 2,313,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Or the thermostat just died. One of the two in our CA house did that recently. They're about 25 years old, nearly as old as you. Nothing lasts forever.

She probably just needs practice using the new one. I sometimes have trouble with hotel thermostats. Some interfaces are intuitive and others...just aren't.
Well, the round Honeywell ones can last 50 years easily, no problems.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
1,362 posts, read 765,336 times
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You are preaching to the choir on this issue.

I have seen so many horrible interface designs lately.....it's like the designer never tested his deliverable in the real world. Between the tiny text and small buttons, that design should have never left the conference room. I would have loved to have been in the design team conference when some of these things were pitched -- "If we make these buttons a little smaller we can fit another useless feature on the interface !"

A Classic Case is found in the newer Cell Phones. They are not ergonomically thought out, and the most important functions are buried 3-deep in a push-button sequence.
For Example -- Your phone's GPS function should be muted with a single button. When you're driving, you don't want to be key-stroking away.

Or how about the Web "Designers" who go crazy with colors ? Did anybody tell these guys that Red lettering on a Purple background is difficult to read ? And who uses light Grey lettering on a White screen ?? Are you saving a bundle on Electronic Ink ??
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:44 AM
 
Location: SC
1,962 posts, read 1,163,627 times
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Good article fluffy.

I have worked with the elderly, as a healthcare worker. Back then, I was in my 40's, but realized I should pay attention as age was creeping up on me. Now I am in my 50's, and have felt the need to use some of those assistive devices.

The designers of anything and everything, are't usually facing lifestyle obstacles. Or, they just may not care.

I use an android phone, but the fact that the screen and key pad are so small, it makes it hard to read with my bi-focals and hard to type with my athritic bent fingers. So I use my laptop for internet access.

I have a grab bar on the stairs, for my bad knees. It was already in the house when we gt here, so I suggested we leave it.

I use pliers to open bottle caps.

I seriously never expected myself to be facing age related obstacles this soon.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:47 AM
 
5,114 posts, read 2,313,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
There's a big push to eliminate text completely and replace it with ambiguous symbols.

.
Yeah, what's the deal with that? In a world where printing is all typeset by computer, there's no need not to just use WORDS to explain things. It might have made sense to provide only pictures when it cost a lot of money to have instruction sheets typeset and printed in multiple languages, but now it's just a dysfunctional fad. Are you telling me that your computer's operating system, where the first thing you do is set "language", can't cope with putting words like "SAVE" or "PRINT" or "BACK", but has to rely on undistinguishable little blobs of color? Are you telling me that people who use complicated software are commonly so illiterate that they can operate all the software, but they can't read the word "SAVE"? Total BS.


This is why alphabets and writing were invented in the first place for chrissake, so we didn't have to communicate everything by drawing pictures.


What it shows me is that user interface design like many other things is driven by fads and function be damned.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Sylmar, a part of Los Angeles
3,972 posts, read 2,535,133 times
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What I don't get is everything comes with a owners manual except computers, tablets, phones, why?
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