It’s a cultural phenomenon that most of us didn’t see coming: baby boomers are taking over Facebook, while the millenials are abandoning it like crazy because it is so last year. After all, what 20-something wants his mom to see his status update about last night’s party? This example signifies a trend in technology overall: the assumed late adopters are now joining early adopters as technology becomes increasingly easy and fun to use. Devices such as the Wii and the iPad have overwhelmingly been adopted by the older and less technologically savvy crowd. The trend has significant design implications. As we’re designing for emergent devices, we need to be very aware that we’re definitely not designing for ourselves. User research will become even more critical, with particular attention paid to the more mature crowd as they have different needs from other generations. Security, privacy and ease of use are key attributes for this audience that we may have overlooked, thinking we were designing for younger users. During this session, John will discuss specific case studies of companies that saw the benefits of conducting the necessary user research to understand the needs, goals and motivations of the boomer crowd as well as specific design techniques that appeal to a more mature audience. In addition, he’ll also explore whether there is one, common design language that speaks to the needs of multiple generations.
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