Mobile search engines for senior citizens: design challenges and opportunities
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Workii, 66 leaves
DepartmentUniversity of Baltimore. School of Information Arts and Technologies
ProgramUniversity of Baltimore. Master of Science in Information Design and Information Architecture
RightsThis item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by the University of Baltimore for non-commercial research and educational purposes.
Web search engines
User interfaces (Computer systems)
Computers and older people
Although the Internet has the potential to enrich the lives of many individuals, senior citizens report having a difficult and frustrating time using the Internet to obtain information they need--particularly when trying to find information using mobile devices. While there are many reasons why this problem occurs, some studies indicate that websites are poorly designed for mobile access. In particular, the mobile versions of sites do not take into account issues that adults may face as they get older. Although there is ample information on how children and adults search the web using desktop devices, little research and insight has been provided for how older adults, or senior citizens, interact with and use mobile search engines, not just websites. To date, 76% of wired seniors have used a search engine to find information, compared to 80% of all Internet users; and, as mobile device technology continues to grow in popularity seniors report their willingness to use mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) in their daily lives. As a result, additional research is needed to see how this population interacts with and uses mobile devices, particularly mobile search engines, as they go about their daily routine. This thesis focuses on mobile search engine design for senior citizens, explores how seniors use mobile search in conjunction with other screens and across multiple devices, addresses cognitive issues that confronts disabled seniors as they age, and provides suggested design guidelines for user experience architects to utilize when designing mobile-friendly search engines that will be senior-friendly.