Factors Determining Functional Perceptions of Technology-driven Product Design: A Case Study Interface for the Elderly

By Kingkarn Pijukkana and Nopadol Sahachaisaeree.

Published by The International Journal of Visual Design

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

According to this research, distinctive human attributes such as age, sex, and cultural background can create a large number of obstacles in the individual’s understanding of graphic representation. This research uses pictorial icons in cell phones as a case study to reveal the age and cultural bias between age groups. Most of respondents are able to operate only the basic features. The ultimate goal of this study is to discover a universal representation of iconic symbols, which would help enhance the learning ability of senior citizens in particular, and improve the usage of other technological oriented equipments in general. We intend to study the following three areas: complexity of iconic symbols, the visual limitation among the elderly, and the interpretation of iconic symbols. The first area deals with learning new technology’s capabilities and the recollection of those capabilities. Next, we consider the visible format of graphic icons -simple, detailed and textured, including size and color. Finally, we look at the 2D/3D format, realistic/symbolic, and with/without textual display. From the research, it is found that respondents are able to learn complicated icons just as well as younger users. With reading glasses, they are able to visualize and understand simple icons as small as 5-10 mm, complicated as 30 mm and graphical icons with textual as 10-15 mm. Bright colors are best reserved for simple icon, and cooler tones are best reserved for complicated icons. 2D is for familiar objects while 3D and realistic are for unfamiliar ones. Textual representation could enhance the understanding of representation as well.

Keywords: Technology-driven, Elderly, Perception, Mobile Phone

The International Journal of Visual Design, Volume 7, Issue 4, January 2015, pp.13-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 440.832KB).

Kingkarn Pijukkana

PhD Student, Faculty of Architecture, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand

Prof. Nopadol Sahachaisaeree

Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand