Toward a psychological science of advanced technology design for older adults

Wendy A. Rogers, Arthur D. Fisk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. Technology represents advances in knowledge that change the way humans perform tasks. Ideally, technology will make the task easier, more efficient, safer, or perhaps more pleasurable. Unfortunately, new technologies can sometimes make a task more difficult, slower, dangerous, or perhaps more frustrating. Older adults interact with a variety of technologies in the course of their daily activities and thus products should be designed to be used by people of varying ages. Methods. In this article, we provide an overview of what psychology has to offer to the design of technology - from understanding what people need, to identifying their preferences for design characteristics, and to defining their capabilities and limitations that will influence technology interactions. Results. We identify how research in the field of psychology and aging has advanced understanding of technology interactions and how research on technology interactions can inform theories of aging. Discussion. Design for aging involves understanding the unique capabilities and limitations of older adults; identifying their needs, preferences, and desires for technology in their lives; and involving them in the design process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-653
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume65 B
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Human factors
  • Technology design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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