Designing Digital Technologies for Older Adults’ Online Social Engagement in Personally Meaningful Activities

Research Project

Project overview

Emerging Technologies for Enrichment in Old Age

Engaging in personally meaningful activities is associated with greater wellbeing for people in later life. Digital technologies have created great opportunities for older adults (people aged 65 and above) to participate in meaningful social activities through different online platforms. However, there are myriad unanswered questions about the design of online platforms for older adults' social engagement.

The aim of this research is to understand how digital technologies should be designed to support older adults' online social engagement in personally meaningful activities. We will use a Research through Design approach to explore the research questions, which employs the methods and processes of design practices with the intention of generating new knowledge. The results of the research will include the design and evaluation of a prototype of a system for older adults’ online social engagement in personally meaningful activities. It will also reveal design opportunities and considerations for older adults’ future online engagement in social activities.

Key Questions:
• How do older adults define ‘meaningful activity’ in their online social engagement process?
• What are the challenges of using technologies to support older adults’ social engagement in personally meaningful activities?
• What design implications should be considered for the future design of online social engagement for older adults?
• How effective is participatory design approach for the design of social technologies for older adults?

Project information

Funding source Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship & ARC Grant FT170100420
Project time frame June-November 2022

Contact details