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Intergenerational aid for digital inclusivity by ‍‘Sita’lakshmi Lakshmanan (Emily Carr University of Art + Design)

Talk

40 mins

With most day-to-day services going predominantly digital, how often have we heard this question from our aged parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors - “I don’t know how to do this on my phone/laptop, can you help me?” This talk takes you through my exploration of inclusive design for seniors by examining the role of 'digital support‘ in intergenerational relationships.

Date and time:

Wednesday, 8 November - 17:00-17:40 GMT, 12:00-12:40 EST, 9:00-9:40 PST

Intended audience: 

Registration opens: 9 October

Register
Date and time:

Wednesday, 8 November - 17:00-17:40 GMT, 12:00-12:40 EST, 9:00-9:40 PST

Register

“Intergenerational aid for digital inclusivity” explores my journey of understanding how to research and design for daily use technologies that transcend age barriers. While many senior friendly applications exist today, day-to-day technologies like banking apps, bus pass forms, government websites, etc. are still difficult for many seniors to independently learn and use. Considering the necessity of these services in our lives, many seniors are forced to rely on assistance from the people around them - often younger family members, neighbors, friends, community volunteers, etc. As part of my Masters at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, I researched into this ‘digital support’ that seniors seek in their social relationships. Through research methods like service learning, interviews and participatory workshops with various stakeholders like seniors, younger warm experts, community volunteers, tech coaches, etc.; I share my experience in researching and designing for ‘digital support', a key determinant of technology adoption by seniors.

Key takeaways from this talk include:

  • Tips on how to design and conduct participatory research that is inclusive of seniors.
  • Key insights about the necessity of digital support for seniors and how warm experts have so far been shouldering this responsibility.
  • A macro perspective : What strategies can various stakeholders in society implement in order to provide wholesome support for seniors?
  • A micro perspective : An example of a mobile application prototype that capitalizes on existing intergenerational relationships to efficiently provide digital support for seniors.
Sitalakshmi sitting in Emily Carr University’s cafeteria.

Product Designer

Left

Product Designer

Right

Left

Product Designer

Middle

Right

Hostile Documentary

1h 38m | 2022

“Intergenerational aid for digital inclusivity” explores my journey of understanding how to research and design for daily use technologies that transcend age barriers. While many senior friendly applications exist today, day-to-day technologies like banking apps, bus pass forms, government websites, etc. are still difficult for many seniors to independently learn and use. Considering the necessity of these services in our lives, many seniors are forced to rely on assistance from the people around them - often younger family members, neighbors, friends, community volunteers, etc. As part of my Masters at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, I researched into this ‘digital support’ that seniors seek in their social relationships. Through research methods like service learning, interviews and participatory workshops with various stakeholders like seniors, younger warm experts, community volunteers, tech coaches, etc.; I share my experience in researching and designing for ‘digital support', a key determinant of technology adoption by seniors.

Key takeaways from this talk include:

  • Tips on how to design and conduct participatory research that is inclusive of seniors.
  • Key insights about the necessity of digital support for seniors and how warm experts have so far been shouldering this responsibility.
  • A macro perspective : What strategies can various stakeholders in society implement in order to provide wholesome support for seniors?
  • A micro perspective : An example of a mobile application prototype that capitalizes on existing intergenerational relationships to efficiently provide digital support for seniors.

Sitalakshmi Lakshmanan (she/her)

Sitalakshmi Lakshmanan is a product designer and recent M.Des graduate from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. With more than 2 years of experience in healthcare design, she has designed for various products like fitness wearables, gynaecological training applications, endoscopes, etc. As a designer, she values solving complex human-centered problems with a “humane” approach. Her Master’s thesis, ‘Intergenerational Aid in the 21st Century’; is situated at the intersection of gerontechnology, warm technology, inclusive design and systemic design.

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