Indiana University Bloomington

Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering

Technical Report TR595:
A Comparative Study of Elderly, Younger, and Chronically Ill Novice PDA Users

Katie A. Moor, Kay Connelly and Yvonne Rogers
(Jun 2004)
Some researchers in the UbiComp community create applications for diverse groups of people. However, before these applications can be developed, we must ensure the target user group can use the technology. Researchers are challenged to investigate new ways of helping older people and chronically ill people remain independent and preserve their quality of life. Some of these assistive solutions require elderly people and chronically ill people to use Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). Critics question whether elderly and chronically ill people can use PDAs given their difficulties with computers. This paper presents a usability study showing there are no major differences in performance between elderly, chronically ill, and younger people performing traditional (pressing buttons, viewing icons, recording messages) and non-traditional (scanning barcodes) PDA tasks.

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