comments to the "Doro's ridiculously simplephones in the wild"

26 Nov 2007 - 11:51am
6 years ago
4 replies
465 reads
Meredith Noble
2010

Lis, even though some of today's boomers will already have cell phone
experience by the time they become elderly, I think we overestimate just
how many people in the older generation are truly comfortable with the
tools. More importantly, don't forget about reduced cognitive abilities
over time.

If you consider how common diseases like Alzheimer's are becoming (see
some stats below), and even lesser forms of dementias / memory loss, I
think the market for these kinds of devices is going to continue growing
over time. That isn't to say that these particular devices are that
great (I don't know much about them), but I think we're going to be
seeing more and more of these kinds of tools in the future, and for a
long time to come.

----
Stats on Alzheimer's via Wikipedia:

- There are an estimated 24 million people with dementia worldwide. By
2040, it is projected that this figure will have increased to 81
million.

- More than 5 million Americans are estimated to have Alzheimer's
disease. It is projected that 14.3 million Americans will have the
disease by mid-century: a 350 percent increase from 2000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alzheimer's_disease#Statistics_on_Alzheimer
.27s_disease
----

Interested in hearing other opinions on this,

Meredith

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-
> bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of ELISABETH HUBERT
> Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 11:16 AM
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] comments to the "Doro's ridiculously
> simplephones in the wild"
>
> Is it just me or is the market for these types of phones starting to
> disappear. I know that older people are looking to use these types of
> phones now, but I'm assuming that the number of elderly that don't
> know how to use other features (address book for example) is
> decreasing over time. Any idea how long we'll need these types of
> solutions around?? I'm thinking no more than say 3 - 5 years, but
> that is a shot in the dark. The need for bigger buttons may always be
> around.
>
> ~Lis
>
> http://www.elisabethhuber.com
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22900
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
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Comments

26 Nov 2007 - 2:58pm
ELISABETH HUBERT
2007

You guys have definitely come up with ideas that I didn't think about
before posting. Although I myself enjoy the phones with less bells and
whistles I didn't think of all the other cases :(. This certainly has
helped alot!

And I "fat-fingered" my address too (ironic)...
http://www.elisabethhubert.com thanks for pointing that out!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22900

26 Nov 2007 - 4:47pm
Alexander Baxevanis
2007

If only all human beings made purely rational decisions...
Working in the mobile industry, I have seen a lot of studies focusing
on that population segment. Something that comes up in every study is
that many people find the idea of "dumb-looking phone with large
buttons" very patronising and wouldn't want to be seen dead with them.
They want to have the same phones as their children & grandchildren as
a matter of pride.

Reading the article below it seems to me that Alzheimer patients may
have more serious problems than operating a mobile phone, problems
that make them need frequent assistance of a carer. Maybe we could
come up with a different paradigm for a communication device tailored
for such people, but I doubt it's worth trying to twist the mobile
phone paradigm to accommodate such needs.

On Nov 26, 2007 4:51 PM, Meredith Noble <meredith at usabilitymatters.com> wrote:
> Lis, even though some of today's boomers will already have cell phone
> experience by the time they become elderly, I think we overestimate just
> how many people in the older generation are truly comfortable with the
> tools. More importantly, don't forget about reduced cognitive abilities
> over time.
>
> If you consider how common diseases like Alzheimer's are becoming (see
> some stats below), and even lesser forms of dementias / memory loss, I
> think the market for these kinds of devices is going to continue growing
> over time. That isn't to say that these particular devices are that
> great (I don't know much about them), but I think we're going to be
> seeing more and more of these kinds of tools in the future, and for a
> long time to come.
>
> ----
> Stats on Alzheimer's via Wikipedia:
>
> - There are an estimated 24 million people with dementia worldwide. By
> 2040, it is projected that this figure will have increased to 81
> million.
>
> - More than 5 million Americans are estimated to have Alzheimer's
> disease. It is projected that 14.3 million Americans will have the
> disease by mid-century: a 350 percent increase from 2000.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alzheimer's_disease#Statistics_on_Alzheimer
> .27s_disease
> ----
>
> Interested in hearing other opinions on this,
>
> Meredith
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-
> > bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of ELISABETH HUBERT
> > Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 11:16 AM
> > To: discuss at ixda.org
> > Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] comments to the "Doro's ridiculously
> > simplephones in the wild"
> >
> > Is it just me or is the market for these types of phones starting to
> > disappear. I know that older people are looking to use these types of
> > phones now, but I'm assuming that the number of elderly that don't
> > know how to use other features (address book for example) is
> > decreasing over time. Any idea how long we'll need these types of
> > solutions around?? I'm thinking no more than say 3 - 5 years, but
> > that is a shot in the dark. The need for bigger buttons may always be
> > around.
> >
> > ~Lis
> >
> > http://www.elisabethhuber.com
> >
> >
> > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> > Posted from the new ixda.org
> > http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22900
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> > February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> > Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

26 Nov 2007 - 5:22pm
White, Jeff
2007

Thank you for saying that. I would suspect that many Alzheimer's
patients don't really need to worry about making phone calls - they're
too busy trying to do much more basic things like remember their
family members.

I'm not saying this to be insensitive or rude. My family members have
suffered from Alzheimer's and it's not pretty or funny. Thinking of
selling mobile phones to them, or even thinking of them as a "market
segment" is a bit disrespectful and unethical, IMO.

I do realize none of the posters in this thread intended to do this,
but I do have to point it out as a matter of principle. We've had
discussions on this list about the ethics of design and this certainly
seems to be a worthy candidate for that topic.

Jeff

On Nov 26, 2007 4:47 PM, Alexander Baxevanis <alex.baxevanis at gmail.com> wrote:
> If only all human beings made purely rational decisions...
> Working in the mobile industry, I have seen a lot of studies focusing
> on that population segment. Something that comes up in every study is
> that many people find the idea of "dumb-looking phone with large
> buttons" very patronising and wouldn't want to be seen dead with them.
> They want to have the same phones as their children & grandchildren as
> a matter of pride.
>
> Reading the article below it seems to me that Alzheimer patients may
> have more serious problems than operating a mobile phone, problems
> that make them need frequent assistance of a carer. Maybe we could
> come up with a different paradigm for a communication device tailored
> for such people, but I doubt it's worth trying to twist the mobile
> phone paradigm to accommodate such needs.
>
>
> On Nov 26, 2007 4:51 PM, Meredith Noble <meredith at usabilitymatters.com> wrote:
> > Lis, even though some of today's boomers will already have cell phone
> > experience by the time they become elderly, I think we overestimate just
> > how many people in the older generation are truly comfortable with the
> > tools. More importantly, don't forget about reduced cognitive abilities
> > over time.
> >
> > If you consider how common diseases like Alzheimer's are becoming (see
> > some stats below), and even lesser forms of dementias / memory loss, I
> > think the market for these kinds of devices is going to continue growing
> > over time. That isn't to say that these particular devices are that
> > great (I don't know much about them), but I think we're going to be
> > seeing more and more of these kinds of tools in the future, and for a
> > long time to come.
> >
> > ----
> > Stats on Alzheimer's via Wikipedia:
> >
> > - There are an estimated 24 million people with dementia worldwide. By
> > 2040, it is projected that this figure will have increased to 81
> > million.
> >
> > - More than 5 million Americans are estimated to have Alzheimer's
> > disease. It is projected that 14.3 million Americans will have the
> > disease by mid-century: a 350 percent increase from 2000.
> >
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alzheimer's_disease#Statistics_on_Alzheimer
> > .27s_disease
> > ----
> >
> > Interested in hearing other opinions on this,
> >
> > Meredith
> >
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-
> > > bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of ELISABETH HUBERT
> > > Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 11:16 AM
> > > To: discuss at ixda.org
> > > Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] comments to the "Doro's ridiculously
> > > simplephones in the wild"
> > >
> > > Is it just me or is the market for these types of phones starting to
> > > disappear. I know that older people are looking to use these types of
> > > phones now, but I'm assuming that the number of elderly that don't
> > > know how to use other features (address book for example) is
> > > decreasing over time. Any idea how long we'll need these types of
> > > solutions around?? I'm thinking no more than say 3 - 5 years, but
> > > that is a shot in the dark. The need for bigger buttons may always be
> > > around.
> > >
> > > ~Lis
> > >
> > > http://www.elisabethhuber.com
> > >
> > >
> > > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> > > Posted from the new ixda.org
> > > http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22900
> > >
> > >
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> > > February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> > > Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> > >
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> > >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> > February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> > Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

26 Nov 2007 - 5:39pm
Meredith Noble
2010

Alexander, I just wanted to clarify -- I simply meant "mobile tools that
cater to the elderly", not specifically cell phones, when I wrote my
comment. (I certainly agree with you that a cell phone alone is not the
right tool for an advanced Alzheimer's patient.)

I'm trying to make the point that there's a full spectrum here, from
perfectly capable older adult, to someone with mild cognitive issues, to
someone with significant cognitive issues (e.g. Alzheimer's). I think
different tools will be useful to different people along the spectrum.
And of course there are other spectrums too -- vision, mobility,
previous experience with devices, etc. Different devices will continue
to develop for different niches. The problem is not going to go away in
3-5 years.

For people who are interested in more info, Ron Baecker at the
University of Toronto is doing a lot of work on memory aids for seniors
at the moment. (I'm sure there are others too, but I worked with Ron so
his name comes to mind first.)

His publications on the subject can be found at the first green bullet
on this page: http://www.kmdi.toronto.edu/rmb/; a good starter article
is here ("An Empirical Study of Seniors' Perceptions of Mobile Phones as
Memory Aids"): http://www.kmdi.toronto.edu/rmb/papers/B16.pdf.

Meredith

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Meredith Noble
Information Architect, Usability Matters Inc.
416-598-7770, ext. 6
meredith at usabilitymatters.com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Alexander Baxevanis [mailto:alex.baxevanis at gmail.com]
> Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 5:01 PM
> To: Meredith Noble
> Cc: ELISABETH HUBERT; discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] comments to the "Doro's ridiculously
> simplephones in the wild"
>
> If only all human beings made purely rational decisions...
> Working in the mobile industry, I have seen a lot of studies focusing
> on that population segment. Something that comes up in every study is
> that many people find the idea of "dumb-looking phone with large
> buttons" very patronising and wouldn't want to be seen dead with them.
> They want to have the same phones as their children & grandchildren as
> a matter of pride.
>
> Reading the article below it seems to me that Alzheimer patients may
> have more serious problems than operating a mobile phone, problems
> that make them need frequent assistance of a carer. Maybe we could
> come up with a different paradigm for a communication device tailored
> for such people, but I doubt it's worth trying to twist the mobile
> phone paradigm to accommodate such needs.

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