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Using embodied experiences to re-design enabling technologies

Using embodied experiences to re-design enabling technologies This study introduces a phenomenological approach to the design of enabling technologies for older adults focusing on capabilities rather than disabilities. The purpose of this paper is to use embodied experiences to structure an alternative understanding of the human–technology relationship and demonstrates the significance and implications of this approach.Design/methodology/approachIn total, 31 older citizens (M=80.5 years, SD=5.97 years) were engaged in a participatory design process revolving around the embodied experiences of the participants. The aim was to design new wireless chargers for their existing enabling technologies. The paper presents design results and statistical analyses of performance evaluations.FindingsThe co-designed alternatives were compared to the current alternative. The statistical analyses revealed an average increase in performance of 45.35 percent across all participants when using designs anchored in embodied experiences. The significance of these results suggests that a shift from disabilities to capabilities provides new opportunities to understand and facilitate interaction between older adults and technology.Research limitations/implicationsThe study follows the theoretical argument into real-use scenarios involving co-designed artifacts to demonstrate how the suggested approach can be a viable alternative strategy to how we facilitate the design of enabling technologies for older adults.Originality/valueThe suggested design approach contributes to the ongoing development of enabling technologies for older adults by introducing a respectful and inclusive alternative strategy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Enabling Technologies Emerald Publishing

Using embodied experiences to re-design enabling technologies

Journal of Enabling Technologies , Volume 13 (1): 14 – May 24, 2019

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2398-6263
DOI
10.1108/jet-06-2018-0028
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study introduces a phenomenological approach to the design of enabling technologies for older adults focusing on capabilities rather than disabilities. The purpose of this paper is to use embodied experiences to structure an alternative understanding of the human–technology relationship and demonstrates the significance and implications of this approach.Design/methodology/approachIn total, 31 older citizens (M=80.5 years, SD=5.97 years) were engaged in a participatory design process revolving around the embodied experiences of the participants. The aim was to design new wireless chargers for their existing enabling technologies. The paper presents design results and statistical analyses of performance evaluations.FindingsThe co-designed alternatives were compared to the current alternative. The statistical analyses revealed an average increase in performance of 45.35 percent across all participants when using designs anchored in embodied experiences. The significance of these results suggests that a shift from disabilities to capabilities provides new opportunities to understand and facilitate interaction between older adults and technology.Research limitations/implicationsThe study follows the theoretical argument into real-use scenarios involving co-designed artifacts to demonstrate how the suggested approach can be a viable alternative strategy to how we facilitate the design of enabling technologies for older adults.Originality/valueThe suggested design approach contributes to the ongoing development of enabling technologies for older adults by introducing a respectful and inclusive alternative strategy.

Journal

Journal of Enabling TechnologiesEmerald Publishing

Published: May 24, 2019

Keywords: Capabilities; Phenomenology; Older adults; Participatory design; Embodied experiences; Enabling interaction

References