Peter Ziegler of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design has written a blog post for Government Digital Service about a joint project between the two organisations to help meet the digital needs of older people via assisted digital support. Ziegler is leading the project and is described as a specialist in design research for older people and technology.
Ziegler says he “will design assisted digital interactions and interfaces to get digital by default services to the 18% of the population that are not online.”
“I’ll do this through intensive research and testing with older people. By focusing on this group, I hope to develop design outputs that address the needs of a broad range of assisted digital users,” he added.
His team is also working with the Age UK Hackney computer centre which provides computer and internet access to the older generation in order to carry out research for the project.
Through their observations they have found that those who do not have confidence in their digital skills are comfortable with one-way search queries (such as finding out the location of a shop) but not with two-way personal information transaction (such as making an online purchase).
“As services are increasingly administered online, there is a requirement for assisted digital provision to be in place and be adequately publicised to ensure these people know where to go for help,” concludes Ziegler from the research
Plans for the future include “developing ideas and use cases that address the above observations and also tackle some of the more idiosyncratic issues raised through my research. I’ll communicate these ideas to users at a follow-up session at the Hackney computer centre, and use the feedback and discussion from this session to refine my ideas and develop them into final design concepts. In this way, I can make sure that the final concepts are created in collaboration with the people they’re being designed for.”