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Title: Metaphors and Smart Materials to mitigate age-related differences in the understanding of technologies
Authors: Spinelli, G
Micocci, M
Keywords: Human-centred design;Product Design;Analogical Reasoning;Technology;Metaphors;Smart Materials
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Inderscience
Citation: Journal of Design Research, 2018
Abstract: Older adults, due to their changing physical and cognitive abilities, might still be challenged by understanding and adopting smart technologies. In line with such research enquiry, ‘metaphors’ and ‘analogies’, powerful learning tools for written and verbal communication, have been investigated as ‘non-linguistic’ tools, when embedded into product shapes and features, to facilitate the users’ understanding of products functionalities. In this study, analogies and metaphors are physically ‘embodied’ into products’ design through the adoption of Smart Materials (SMs). A novel device was designed to explore such approach using four different SMs families to evaluate which design would be more intuitive for two group of users in a comparative, exploratory study. Findings reveal that embodied SMs help considerably in the mitigation of age-related differences and in the understanding of technologies due to facilitated retrieving of older adults’ prior knowledge. This, in return, may increase the chance of technology adoption among ageing users.
ISSN: 1569-1551
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