How We Spent Five Years and $5 Million Learning How to Design Software Applications for the Elderly
Founder, President, and CEO, Touchtown, Inc.
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 4:00am
Newell Simon Hall 1305 (Michael Mauldin Auditorium)
Designing graphical user interfaces for older adults is a challenge, but that problem is dwarfed by the challenge of creating a company that can do it profitably.
In 1999 we started a company, ElderVision, with the mission of helping older adults, especially those living in retirement homes, to overcome social isolation and reconnect with their families, friends and lifelong interests online. Our initial designs were based on shared virtual reality environments and utilized innovative hardware delivery platforms.
Over time, the market taught us a great deal about what seniors want, what they actually use, and just as important, what characteristics a product must have in order to be financially successful in the retirement industry.
In this talk, we will discuss our motivation for bringing institutionalized seniors online, review the techniques we used to understand our target audience, and show the progress of our designs from the earliest VR prototypes to the current, commercially successful product that is in use by over 25,000 people at 120 retirement communities nationwide.
Jeff Pepper is the founder, President and CEO of Touchtown Inc. (formerly ElderVision), the world