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Foundations of an age-differentiated adaptation of the human-computer interface

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An important issue of the demographic change in the German population is the maintenance and promotion of the employability of aging workforces. However, there are hardly any suitable concepts or usable tools available to realize this goal. Possible approaches should push the individual strengths of the aging workers to the foreground and intercept the possible physical and cognitive losses in ability that occur with an increase in age. The computer thus plays an important role due to a continuous increase in mechanization. An age-based, individual adaptive user interface shall be developed to support the elderly in working with the computer. Basics for such an interface will be presented in this paper. First connections between user characteristics and adaptation dimensions were analyzed in a study with 90 subjects ranging from 20 to 73 years of age and will be presented in this article. Results indicate a significant influence of graphical layout on memorization as well as interpretation performance.

Keywords: adaptive human-computer interfaces; demographic change; individualization of software

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University, Bergdriesch, Aachen, Germany

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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