Designing Products for Older Consumers
The discipline of human factors is concerned with “the role of humans in complex systems, the design of equipment and facilities for human use, and the development of environments for comfort and safety” (Salvendy, 1997). We discuss typical human factors approaches to design and introduce the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) framework for understanding person-system fit. Then we overview normative changes with age in perceptual, cognitive, and psychomotor abilities that have implications for product design. We provide some conceptual heuristics for understanding age-related changes in performance and describe design issues for a variety of products. We also discuss how usability testing and modeling can help in design decisions.