Gathering Requirements for Mobile Devices using Focus Groups with Older People

Joy Goodman, Anna Dickinson, Audrey Syme


Dedicated mobile devices have considerable potential for supporting older people in their day-to-day lives. However, there are significant obstacles to the development of such devices that are genuinely useful and usable for older people, particularly to eliciting high quality requirements from such groups. To examine the use of mobile devices in the context in which they will be used can be time-consuming and complicated, particularly with older participants. While such field studies are important, there are other approaches which can yield high quality supporting information from a stationary setting. One of these approaches, focus groups, is examined in this paper.

Focus groups are widely used to elicit requirements for technological devices, but the issue of using a stationary setting to encourage people to envisage and discuss mobile experiences is rarely recognised. In this paper some of the methodological issues are discussed, and a range of techniques are suggested for focus groups on mobile devices.

The full paper

The final version of the paper is copyright Springer-Verlag and will be obtainable from them as part of the book "Designing a More Inclusive World" (ISBN 1852338199).

BibTeX citation

  author = "Joy Goodman and Anna Dickinson and Audrey Syme",
  title = "Gathering Requirements for Mobile Devices using Focus Groups with 
Older People",
  booktitle = "Designing a More Inclusive World (Proceedings of
the 2nd Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive
Technology (CWUAAT))",
  editor = "Simeon Keates and John Clarkson and Patrick Langdon and
Peter Robinson",
  address = "Cambridge, UK",
  year = 2004,
  month = March,
  publisher = "Springer",
  chapter = 9,
  pages = "81--90",
  keywords = "methods-focus group, devices-mobile, older people"}
Joy Goodman
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