Involving children and elderly in the development of new design concepts to become active together

Fenne van Doorn, Mathieu Gielen, Pieter Jan Stappers
pp. 86-100, download


Designers need to have an empathic understanding of their intended users if they are to design products that fit. This holds especially strong for elderly and children as user groups, because they are very different from the designer. However, it might be harder to obtain this information from children and elderly. This paper describes a research project that explored new approaches to involve children and elderly as a combined user group in the context of user involvement in product development. The research took place in a design setting; the development of an intergenerational movement park. We describe the role these two user groups played in the design process in order to develop new products that help them to be physically and socially active together. The process is examined on two aspects: the combination of the two user groups and the influence of the users on the project. We will discuss the methods used, the outcomes and give recommendations.

keywords: UCD, contextmapping, children, elderly, co-research

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