Category Archives: Old Age

Consumer Issues: Many Products Designed For Older People Are Just “Brown, Beige And Boring”

From a MIT Technology Review online article:

Engaging older people in designing for older people “is a good thing,” says Smith. “Because younger people do tend to have this picture of designing things that are functional for older people, but not really understanding what makes them happy.” Presented with products that are “brown, beige, and boring,” many older people will forgo convenience for dignity.

MIT Technology Review why are products for older people so uglyIt’s a familiar tune to engineer Ken Smith, director of the mobility division of the Stanford Center on Longevity. He says one of the biggest mistakes designers make is to assume that around the age of 60 people lose interest in aesthetics and design. This can have dire consequences for products meant to help people with their health. No one wants to stick a golf-ball-size hearing aid the color of chewed gum in their ear, any more than they want to wear a T-shirt that reads “SENIOR CITIZEN.”

To read more click on the following link: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614167/why-are-products-for-older-people-so-ugly/?utm_campaign=the_download.unpaid.engagement&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=76169117&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_dlTg24O7Cr_1b5J4cniKFvi74Dmh8Fm3nuJVTbblAB8Z3fna_Rj6WoV6M6aodqOVSJnh603-liOHFgjAr_EQEh9sVQw&_hsmi=76169117

MIT AgeLab: Consumer Product Companies Need To Make Older Adults A “Core Constituency”

From an MIT Technology Review article by Joseph F. Coughlin:

MIT Technology Review Old Age Is Over October 2019Technologists, particularly those who make consumer products, will have a strong influence over how we’ll live tomorrow. By treating older adults not as an ancillary market but as a core constituency, the tech sector can do much of the work required to redefine old age. But tech workplaces also skew infamously young. Asking young designers to merely step into the shoes of older consumers (and we at the MIT AgeLab have literally developed a physiological aging simulation suit for that purpose) is a good start, but it is not enough to give them true insight into the desires of older consumers. Luckily there’s a simpler route: hire older workers.

Of all the wrenching changes humanity knows it will face in the next few decades—climate change, the rise of AI, the gene-editing revolution—none is nearly as predictable in its effects as global aging. Life expectancy in industrialized economies has gained more than 30 years since 1900, and for the first time in human history there are now more people over 65 than under 5—all thanks to a combination of increasing longevity, diminished fertility, and an aging Baby Boom cohort. We’ve watched these trends develop for generations; demographers can chart them decades in advance.

To read more click on the following link: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614155/old-age-is-made-upand-this-concept-is-hurting-everyone/