Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson
This issue presents the topic of HCI and the elderly; we thank and congratulate another outstanding volunteer guest editor, Jonathan Livingston, for putting together this selection of articles. The elderly are becoming more and more computer savvy, leading the way for the destruction of deep-rooted stereotypes of computer illiteracy. The ubiquity of the computer affects us all in different ways. This is not just a baby-boomer issue. Ten years ago pre-baby boomers may not have been proficient computer users; today computers are almost everywhere, in some ways changing the context of life. EIC Jonathan’s 86-year-old father was computer illiterate in the early ‘90s but now has experience using three different operating systems spread over five computers. That’s not allhe has a mobile phone and an iPod and is now contemplating his first DVR. Elizabeth’s 85-year-old mother has mastered her cable box, multiple VCR, DVD, and TV remote controls, and uses her computer to play CDs, listen to the radio, and sometimes watch TV, but she hasn’t tackled the Internet like members of her senior group who have MySpace accounts and chat internationally using instant-messaging software. It was a challenge for guest editor Jonathan Livingston to avoid the clichéd approach to this timely topic, and he did so in excellent fashion.
Gary Marsden’s Under Development column features Indrani Medhi and her experiences designing for nonliterate people, with a focus on how the needs of a specific community changed the design process. Chauncey Wilson’s Well-Tempered Practitioner gives us good practical advice concerning the ethical issues of videotaping test participants and the proper usage of consent forms.
Lastly, this issue wrapped up at the same time as the CHI2007 conference, so look for some quick commentaries from us on our conference experience. We’d like to tip our hats to the CHI2007 chairs, Mary Beth Rosson and David Gilmore, for a job indeed well done. Thanks, Mary Beth and David!
Jonathan Arnowitz and Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson
©2007 ACM 1072-5220/07/0700 $5.00
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