Joho the Blog » elderly

February 8, 2009

Senescent UI

I’m on a mailing list for former employees of a company, and we’ve been on a track for a day talking about what computer is best for aging parents or grandparents who want to do email and some basic Web browsing. This is from the point of view of the people who are going to be doing support and sysadmin for their relatives.

For years I’ve casually tried to get various folks interested in creating an OS shell or skin specifically designed for the elderly who are unfamiliar with computers. The existing OSes do things like put icons on desktops that are then covered by windows. Yes, the Mac’s Dock helps. And obviously the elderly can learn how to use computers, just as we all have. But the hurdle is unnecessarily high for people who have never held a mouse before.

So, my questions:

1. Is there such an operating system shell or skin?

2. Is there a wiki so we can at least share our experiences providing computers and support to our elderly relatives?

[Tags: ]

10 Comments »