Designing for an Aging Population

July 2005

Dr. Bill Gribbons of Bentley University spoke at the Boston-IA meeting on June 29, 2005, about how universal design can benefit people as they grow older.

Bill Gribbons' presentation, "Universal Accessiblity: Designing for an Aging Population" wrapped up the Boston-IA 2004-2005 program year in an entertaining and informative evening on June 29, 2005.

Topic: "Universal Accessibility: Designing for the Aging Population"

Date: June 29, 2005

Speaker: Dr. Bill Gribbons

Location: Bentley University
Waltham, Massachusetts

Dr. Gribbons is the director of the graduate program in Human Factors and Information Design at Bentley [University] and founder of the Design and Usability Center at the College. He is an expert on the user experience.

Over the years, Dr. Gribbons has been a popular speaker at local and national conferences addressing issues of information design, human factors, and the user experience. His long-term research interests center on the building of a unified theory defining the user experience. Recent projects have focused on interface design for the aging population and people with cognitive disabilities.

During the presentation, Bill cited several cases where design has failed to accomodate the special needs of customers, and through amusing examples, explained how design for accessibility can be stylish, open new business opportunities, and improve usability for everyone.

By gaining a deeper understanding of disabilities, information designers can learn to create appropriate accomodations and support tools.

Dr. Gibbons presented some practical tips for designers to consider for users with deficient vision, hearing, motor skills, and cognitive abilities. These suggestions included the importance of simplicity and consistency, high contrast, easy access to increased font sizes, large buttons, and clear feedback.

The presentation concluded with an announcement about the 2005 Aging by Design conference, which will be held October 17th and 18th at Bentley [University]. Visit the website for the event at: Aging by Design Conference

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June 2005 Presentation

For more details about design for the aging population, download Dr. Gribbons' June 2005 presentation:

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