Call for papers

Special issue of Behaviour and Information Technology -- Designing
Computer Systems for and with Older Users.

Special issue editors: Anna Dickinson and Peter Gregor, Applied Computing,
University of Dundee, UK
(http://www.computing.dundee.ac.uk)

As the proportion of older people in the population of the developed world
is rapidly increasing while technology plays an ever more important role
in daily life, it is imperative to consider the relationship between these
factors. While computer technology presents an important avenue for
providing support to the ageing population, simultaneously, significant
disposable incomes also means that the older population offers a sizeable
market opportunity for the IT entertainment and education industry. These
opportunities will not be utilized unless the technology meets actual
needs in appropriate ways and can be used effectively.

There is little evidence that older people are particularly averse to
using new technologies if those technologies are appropriately designed
and introduced. There is, however, evidence that standard technologies are
often inappropriately designed for older people and can present barriers
to use.

There has been a relatively recent upsurge in interest in this area, which
is encouraging, but there are factors which are currently under-explored
in this field. Central among these is investigating issues of technology
acceptability and appropriateness, often within the context of day-to-day
life. Such investigation, which is likely to involve a dialogue with older
people, is problematic. How, for example, can communication about
technology be facilitated with individuals who have no experience of the
domain? What methodologies exist for establishing, managing and analyzing
such dialogue?

For this special issue we are looking for papers which focus on the impact
that computer technologies have on older people, whether that is an effect
of the introduction of technologies (either positive or negative) or ways
of eliciting information about likely impacts as part of the requirements
gathering or design process. Papers can describe the development of
software or services, but in the context of introducing or evaluating the
use of innovative development cycles, evaluation techniques or methods of
engagement.

Deadline for abstracts:  May 10th 2006.

The deadline for full paper submissions is June 10th 2006.

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