Usability evaluation Methodology. Deliverable of the AAL PaeLife project
[rapport de recherche]
Society is getting older. In addition to changes in demographics, there has been an enormous change in technological capabilities – how products work, look, act, and react to people who use them – and in the potential of these technologies. The PaeLife project is based on the observation that technology has an impact in all aspects of our life, particularly in the way we grow older. The project’s main goal is to fight isolation and exclusion and to allow the elderly to be more productive, independent and to have a more social and fulfilling life, by empowering these elderly users with a Personal (Virtual) Life Assistant, named AALFred. AALFred would be a virtual presence which supports social communication, learning and entertainment in an integrated way via an optimized interface. PaeLife focuses on individuals who are recently retired and who are used to some level of technology usage and who want to keep themselves active, productive and socially engaged. Although today’s elderly people over 65 may show some resistance to the adoption of technology, tomorrow’s elderly will have used technology in the last one or two decades of their lives. Therefore, more and more consumers and users of technology are becoming part of the category “older adult”. Aging occurs on many levels – (1) biological, (2) psychological, (3) social. Concerning the interaction with technologies, aging brings changes in perception, cognition and control of movements. Therefore this change in demographics brings with it important changes in the demands for products and services adapted to older adults, that fit into a context of use and that meet user needs. The usability evaluation that will be achieved in the PaeLife project aims at producing feedback and recommendations as part of an iterative design process (WP 6.1 and WP 6.2) to ensure that the developed AALFred meets these requirements.