20 April 2010

How do older people use e-mail?

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Elderly and email
Researchers at the Universidad Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Spain have studied how older people interact and use email in their daily life.

The study, conducted by Sergio Sayago, was carried out in social centres in Barcelona and will be used to design new email systems that are more intuitive and accessible.

Electronic mail or email is the internet application used the most, even by older people, who haven’t grown up with Information and Computer Technology (ICT), and have had to put in greater effort to learn to use it than younger people. However, social and technological scientists still know very little about how older people or the elderly interact with email systems in their daily life.

The ethnographic investigation, published recently in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, spent three years analysing email use habits of close to 400 people between 64 and 80 years-old in social centres in Barcelona.

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