Go-myLife: Participatory involvement of older people in technology development

19. Mär 2012

A good practice example by ZSI

Go-myLife aims to improve the quality of life for older people through the use of online social networks combined with mobile technologies.

In order to develop this innovative technology adapted to real user needs, older people have been involved in the project from the very beginning in the form of participatory end-user workshops organised by ZSI.

But eliciting requirements from older people who have limited experience with ICT usage regarding innovative products that do not yet exist is a challenging process. Older people may feel reluctant to talk about their personal problems (e.g. social isolation), and they do not have the experience to enable them to specify the technical functionalities that would help meet those needs. In tackling these challenges, ZSI carefully elaborated and pre-tested a workshop concept, which includes a portfolio of innovative research methods.

Seven end-user workshops were conducted, involving 23 participants in Austria and the UK, successfully applying interactive methodology tailored to the specific end user group.

How innovative and appropriate the implemented methodologies of the workshop are showed the last project review by the European commission. The review report highlighted the systematic and high quality theoretical work underlying the methodological approach and the well-designed workshops with high achievements. In general  “the end-user and demand driven innovation has been rather remarkable” therefore the EC highly recommended publishing the methodology and the results of the end-user study.



Results from the Workshops:

Pictures from the Workshop:

Tags: ageing society, lifelong learning

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