lunes, 10 de junio de 2013

Telemedicine apps target audience

Developing accessible apps for elderly people

As technology and comunications evolves we find more oportunities to help aged people improve their quality of life reducing speciallist presence and time dedication requeriments. Telemedicine has been shown to reduce the cost of healthcare and increase efficiency through better management of chronic diseases, shared health professional staffing, reduced travel times, and fewer or shorter hospital stays.

When we develope an application to help elderly people, we must play attention not only to its main functionalities, we must also be aware that the interface and navigation should be easily understood and accessible for this particular audience. Otherwise we will run in to the risk our app might become useless.

Keeping a check ist with the main guidelines is a good practice to get good results.
VISION, Problems & Solutions

Problem: Reading problems because of disability to detect light, color and details.

Solution:  Follow this type recommendations to prevent visual problems when reading text

Use a sans serif typeface.
Use a typeface that is not condensed.

Type size

Use 12- or 14-point type size for body text.
Make it easy for people to change the text size directly from the screen.

Type weight

Use medium or boldface typeface.
For headings, increase the size and weight or use a color. If you use bold for body text, make headings stand out with size or color.

Capital and lowercase letters

Put all text in uppercase and lowercase letters. Never use all capitals. All capitals take up more space. It is also more difficult to distinguish different letters in capitals.
Letter Styles
Avoid using italics
Italics are hard to read, especially online.


Left-justified type is best for older adults.


  • Use dark type or graphics against a light background.
  •  Avoid patterned backgrounds.


  • Use high-contrast color combinations, such as black type against a white background. Avoid layering shades of the same color, such as dark blue type on a light blue background. Avoid colors that clash. For example, dark blue on red is very difficult on the eye.
  • Avoid yellow and blue and green in close proximity. The differences in these colors are difficult for many older people to see.
  • Use colors to group information visually.

Problem: Often making reading from a computer screen difficult as the eyes become less sensitive.
Solution: Make a good use of space
  • Allow sufficient white space on the web page to ensure an uncluttered look.
  • Put a space between paragraphs.
  • Allow enough space around clickable targets, such as links and buttons, so that each one is easy to target and hit separately.

COGNITIVE ABILITIES, Problems & Solutions

Problem: Little training in the use of computers and the Internet

Solution:  Make it clear how the information on the website is organized. Users should easily be able to determine what information your site offers and how it is organized. They should be able to figure out a starting point and predict what type of information a link will lead them to. It should also be clear how they can find more information as well as how to return to previously visited pages.

Problem: Working memory limitation affects the ability to simultaneously grasp, retain, and manage new information

Solution: Break information into short sections. Giving people a small amount of content at one time makes it easier for them to grasp and recall information.

Problem: Declines in perceptual speed can increase the time it takes to process information

Solution: Group related topics visually. Use page layout to show how information is organized.

Problem: Text comprehension can make it harder for older adults to understand written material that is not expressed in a straightforward or concrete manner

Put key information first. The most important information should be located where people can find it most easily
Put the sections in logical order. Think about how older adults might look for information.
Limit the number of points you make. Stick to one to five messages in each section. Keeping your information brief can make it easier for web users to stay focused.
Keep paragraphs and sentences short. Paragraphs should express one main idea. Sentences should be simple and straightforward.
Write in the active voice. The active voice puts the focus on people and actions.
Write in the positive. Be especially aware of words that have negative meaning such as "forget," "until," and "unless." Instead of combining them with "not," rewrite the sentence with a positive word.
Explain clearly; don't make people guess what you mean. Be direct.
Give specific instructions.
If the instructions have more than one step, number them.

Problem: Many older adults may be unfamiliar with technical language and jargon.

Solution: Use understandable words and avoid technical terms.

Case study: Global Tele Rehabilitation System

GTRS project recently won the Young Talent Forum Award at the IV Jornades R+D+I en TIC i Salut.

The GTRS project aims to allow the patients, using a telerehabilitation system, to do the rehabilitation exercises at home.

To achieve this objectives designers and developers worked on an accessible interface, making good use of space, contrast, simple images and easy readable text. 


Older users are used to connecting with people, not machines. Your design needs to have a sense of warmth and humanity in order to appeal to this demographic.

And remember: Help the aged, because one day you'll be older too

National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario