Enhancing engagement and participation of seniors in society with the use of Social Media – The case of a reflective participatory design method story

Klaudia Carcani, Christina Mörtberg

pp. 58 - 74, download





An ageing population is an emerging phenomenon in Europe and the rest of the world. Seniors face issues of social isolation and loneliness. Recently the research focus in ICT design has also turned to social media that can sustain seniors’ engagement and participation in social activities even when it is physically a challenge for them to leave home. Design and re-design of social media may support seniors’ engagement and participation in social activities, contributing to mitigate the feeling of loneliness and social isolation. In this paper, the focus is on understanding seniors’ social activities and their relationship to social media which may support their relationship. With Participatory Design – a reflective design approach, we have involved seniors in reflecting on possible future social media that can support and enrich social relationships. The participative methods used are cartographic mapping and future workshop, both appropriate for seniors to get involved in reflecting, thinking and making design alternatives together with other participants. We discuss how is to involve seniors in PD and what we need to know to design better future social media that can support seniors.


Keywords: PD, Seniors, Social media, Participation, Social relationship 


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