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A participatory design and formal study investigation into mobile text entry for older adults

Nicol, Emma and Komninos, Andreas and Dunlop, Mark D (2016) A participatory design and formal study investigation into mobile text entry for older adults. International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction, 8 (2). pp. 20-46. ISSN 1942-390X

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Text entry remains key to many tasks on touchscreen smartphones and is an important factor in the usability of such devices. The known problems of text entry can be particularly acute for older adults due to physical and cognitive issues associated with ageing. In a study of mobile text entry the authors employed a variety of participatory design and formal comparative study techniques in order to explore the requirements of this group of users and to discover the key differences in texting activity between them and younger users of mobile devices. They report on the findings of a lab study of texting behaviour of older adults. The authors’ findings indicate differences in attitudes to texting styles and tasks between older and younger adults. They also identify some differences in typing behaviour and reflect on methods.