Mobile Instant Messaging for the Elderly


Publication date




Document type


While the use of Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) has been expanding vastly along with mobile technology, existing MIM applications have not sufficiently addressed the needs of elderl y users. MIM applications have great potential to support socia l interactions, and thus contribute to the well-being of the elderl y. User interface design features such as small font size, con fusing icons and application flow in current MIM applications, however , make them difficult for the elderly to learn and use. Our research aims to provide a usable and accessible MIM applicati on for this user group. In this research, we combined user- centered and participatory action research principles. We conduc ted a focus group interview and user testing to identify the usability and accessibility issues in current MIM solutions, and collected requirements from elderly users. Based on the requirements and the principles for accessible design , we designed and developed a MIM prototype named Your IM to address the usability and accessibility issues faced by elderly when using MIM.



© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.

Permanent URL (for citation purposes)