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HCI and the Older Population

A full-day workshop at
British HCI 2004
Leeds, UK
7 September 2004

Glasgow Interactive Systems Group (GIST) logo - 
                     click here to go to the GIST Website






Multi-modal Interaction group (Mig)

Glasgow Interactive Systems Group (GIST) logo - 
                     click here to go to the GIST Website

The proportion of older people in the population is rapidly increasing. This workshop provided a forum for academics and practitioners to discuss how technology design can meet the needs and wants of this important user group. It discussed both current work and key challenges.

Organisers: Dr Joy Goodman and Prof Stephen Brewster, Glasgow University


Older people currently control a large proportion of the wealth in the UK, and many have a substantial disposable income. There is also no evidence that they are particularly adverse to using new technologies, if those technologies are appropriately designed and introduced. The older population therefore presents a sizeable market opportunity for the IT industry together with a challenge to discover how new technologies can be effectively designed for this group.

In addition, the increasing proportion of older people will lead to a significant increase in the numbers needing support for daily activities and in those needing long term care. Technology presents one important avenue for providing such support but only if it meets actual needs in appropriate ways and can be used effectively.

Both of these reasons provide strong imperatives for investigating human-computer interaction as it relates to the older population. This workshop provided a forum for academics and practitioners to discuss the issues in this area, looking both at current work and key challenges.

More information about the topic and format of the workshop can be found in the workshop proposal: proposal - pdf format or proposal - rtf format.


A copy of the programme for the workshop is available for download in Word format.


Participants was asked to submit a 2 page position paper describing some of their work in the area of HCI and the older population. Some of these papers were accepted for a short talk and others for presentation as a poster. A list of the accepted papers is available and copies of these papers can be downloaded from that page.

Discussion Outcomes

A summary of the workshop and some of the outcomes of discussions are available in the form of a poster in pdf format or Powerpoint format (which was displayed at HCI 2004):


You can also see some photos from the workshop

More Information

This workshop builds on a previous workshop at HCI 2002 entitled A New Research Agenda for Older Adults. Papers were solicited from attendees for inclusion in a special issue of the journal Universal Access in the Information Society (UAIS).

The workshop is run as part of the SHEFC funded UTOPIA project.


Queries should be directed to Dr Joy Goodman, Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.
Tel: +44 (0)141 330 3541 E-mail: joy@dcs.gla.ac.uk