Workshop feedback

We had an enjoyable and thought-provoking day with 16 participants from academia. We were also privileged to have along three representatives of the older population, from the community internet cafe at Connah's Quay. They helped to enliven and ground the discussions with their humorous and down-to-earth descriptions of what it is like for an older person trying to learn to use a computer from scratch.

Discussion questions

Various discussion questions were posed during the day, including:

Who are "older people"? How do we divide them into meaningful groups for study?

Recruitment

What methods are most effective for considering older people?

What helps older people to have a voice?

How can designers consider older users when working under commercial pressures?

Design exercise

We also conducted a design exercise. Participants were divided into groups, each of which was given a set of cards describing various possible design and user methods. They were asked to choose the most appropriate methods for different parts of the design process. For each part of the design process, they also picked one method in particular, and expanded on how they would use it and the kind of findings they would expect to get from it.

Participants seemed to find the exercise engaging, and particularly liked the use of the method cards. The exercise got the participants thinking about design methods and user methods and how they could be used, and was a prelude to some of the discussions described above.

The groups came up with similar but not identical sets of methods, which varied between stages of design:

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