Michael Burmester Siemens AG Corporate Technology
User Interface Design
Studies showed that elderly people accept modern technology fairly well under specific conditions ( Rott 1988). Important requirements for the acceptance of technology by elderly people are ease of use and usefulness ( Blaich 1992; Rosenmajr 1996). Not only elderly people have problems in using modern consumer electronics. This holds also for average aged people ( Maguire, Butters & McKnight 1994).
According to the demand of "design for all" ( Kanis 1988; Stephanidis & Akoumianakis 1996; Richardson & Poulson 1996) the assumption is made that if user interfaces are designed according to the special requirements of elderly people, then these user interfaces are easy to use for users other age groups as well. By this approach elderly people set the standards for user interface design of products.
The following design methodology (see Figure 1) has the potential to lead to successful user interfaces for all age groups. The methodology has been derived from the EU projects ESPRIT 6994 FACE ( Burmester 1997) and TIDE 1004 HEPHAISTOS ( Bekiaris, Burmester & Diehl 1996; Burmester, Machate &Klein