Providing assistance to older users of dynamic Web content

Darren Lunn, Simon Harper

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The much vaunted Web 2.0 sees once static pages evolving into hybrid applications. Content that was once simple to surf is now becoming increasingly complicated due to the many updating components "dotted" throughout the page. In previous studies, we have shown that unlike younger users, older users have more varied interaction patterns when using dynamic content. In addition, some older users are not aware of what to expect when interacting with dynamic content and show signs of hesitancy when completing tasks. Therefore, a tool was developed to assist older users as they interacted with these kinds of pages. The tool used simple language and video demonstrations to explain how the dynamic content operated and what users could expect to happen as they were interacting with it. We found that: older users tend to deny the need for assistance technology even when non-subjective measures suggest they do use it; technology assists but cannot replace initial human training; Assistance Tools are seen as a 'security blanket' incase things go wrong; and that the actual needs of users are not that well understood by those users. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2098-2107
    Number of pages9
    JournalComputers in human behavior
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


    • Assistance
    • Dynamic content
    • Older users
    • Web widgets


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