Adaptive interfaces for improving technology accessibility for older users: a pain or a boon?

Rob Edlin-White

21st May 2015 (Thursday), 10:00 in FJ L66


Researchers have suggested that self-adapting user interfaces could be used to improve the accessibility of technologies to older users. However there is little or no evidence of this having been achieved.
A particular concern of this research is whether interface changes – however well-intentioned and potentially beneficial in the long term – can in the shorter term be detrimental to usability and product acceptance for older users. When is the “gain” of the adaptation worth the “pain” of unlearning and relearning?
This thesis reports a programme of research studies, many conducted under the auspices of the EU-funded “MyUI” project, to explore:
· how best to design adaptive interfaces for this purpose,
· whether the “pain and gain” model is supported, and
· one method to reduce “pain”.
The research provides evidence for the "pain and gain" model and finds that the "pain" is possibly more significant than hypothesised.

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