Durham is doing important work in evaluating technology for seniorsMost of the postings on this site are about easy use mobile phones and phones with large buttons. It’s a shame but that’s not always the same thing. Very often big button mobiles are not easy to use because they have been designed by people who are not new to the technology. What’s needed is more research in the area and that’s what has inspired this very different post asking for help.

A blog post on the internet is probably an ironic place to look for people who are not au fait with technology so this isn’t aimed at you. It’s aimed at someone you know. Someone who has very little experience with technology but has just got their first mobile phone, Kindle, tablet or computer.

Carolyn Wilson at the University of Durham is running a PhD project on Social Marketing and is looking to recruit participants into her study.

Carolyn Wilson is looking for research subjects

Carolyn Wilson is looking for people to her research into what makes older people persevere or give up on new technology

“I’m coming at this topic from the point of view that: a behaviour change is required for the benefit of the person and/or society. In this case, the behaviour change I’m interested in is seniors’ adoption of technology to improve communication and independence, which will help to reduce the stresses placed on formal and informal carers.” she says

Using a psychological model (the behavioural perspective model) which Carolyn has adapted into a continuous chain (to indicate multiple continuous uses),  she has developed five establishing operations (what causes somebody to use a technology), which she is looking  to test on people over the age of 65.

She summarises the project like this ” I’m looking at the continuous use of technology by seniors what causes/doesn’t cause this continual use. The difference about my research is that it’s being carried out over a long period of time (6 months) to evaluate the effects of time on technology use. Therefore, once somebody has acquired a technology (either bought it themselves or been given it by a relative/friend) what influences that person to actually use it and continue to use it.”

The problem that she having at the moment is finding participants over the age of 65 to take part in her research.

The requirements are:

  1. Aged 65 or over
  2. Lives in the UK
  3. New to a technology (e.g. mobile phone, laptop, ipad, digital radio – whatever it might be)
  4. Willing to take part in a six month study (one questionnaire a month and an optional diary/blog on their use/experiences of the technology)
At Fuss Free Phones we urge you to help, too many decisions about what makes the best technology for seniors are made on the basis of opinion and without enough actual research. If you have come to this page because you are buying a phone for someone else, and that person fits the bill please ask them to consider co-operation with the project. Please get in touch through the Contact Us page or call and we’ll pass your details on.