Effectiveness of design interventions in improving the ability of older people to perform computer-based work
Consumer Health Information
Public Health Informatics
The objective of the current research was to evaluate the impact of age on the performance of computer-based work in order to develop design interventions that enhance the ability of older adults to perform these tasks. Specifically, two computer tasks, data entry, and a complex problem solving were investigated. Participants ranged in age from 20-75 years. Overall, the results indicted age differences in performance of both tasks. The younger participants had higher levels of performance. Further, the results indicated that age-related differences in component cognitive abilities were related to performance. These data were used to develop design interventions such as modifying the layout of screen information. This paper presents data from the intervention studies. Overall the findings indicate that the interventions improved performance for all participants. For example, there were fewer keystroke errors for the data entry task and problem solving time was reduced for the problem solving task. These data are discussed in terms of understanding the extent to which fundamental interface design interventions can benefit older adults.