Sunday, August 8, 2010

DESIGNING WITH THE ELDERLY IN MIND

When it comes to gadgets, I go for functionality and practicality. None of those fancy top-of-the-line gizmos for me. There are applications on my pc and my cell phone that I know I will never use, and others that I can't figure how to use! I'm just one notch better than my 85-year old mother. Her ability to use electronic devices is limited to pressing the ON/OFF button.

Until or unless we are in that age-group, we won't understand why Dad doesn't seem to like wearing that polo-neck sweater we got for his birthday. Or why Mom has yet to read that best-seller we gave her last Christmas.

Whether we are buying a gift or designing a household product for the elderly, we must bear in mind they may have problems with limited vision, hearing, strength and mobility.


>60 Design Centre of Singapore recently announced the Global Age-Friendly Design Awards 2010. Students, design professionals, design firms and the general public are invited to submit their ideas on products that can change and enhance the lifestyles of the elderly.

If you are interested, find out about submission regulations and prizes on the website. On-going registration began on 14 June. Closing date is 26 September 2010. There is no entry fee for the competition.

Here are more ideas to trigger off the creative juices in you.

Know why sales of iPad easily topped one million in the US alone just 28 days after its launch? My guess is it has features and apps that appeal to ALL ages. Design with that in mind and you'll probably have an edge over entries that focus exclusively on the elderly.


Check out my blog buddy's website at eldergadget if you are looking for a gift for someone in the older age group. It has plenty of news and reviews about senior-friendly products.

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