While there are general benefits at any time of life in using digital technology - whether for entertainment, shopping, learning, information - everyone has different priorities and these will be shaped by life experience and current circumstances. The best way to engage people with digital technology is to start where they are, the particular interests they have developed, and the personal challenges they face.
Connecting with friends and family, and pursuing personal interests and hobbies are common reasons for using digital technology later in life. In addition theres entertainment, savings to be made shopping online, information and discussion about issues of health and finance that may become pressing. Increasingly the Internet will be essential to access public services. Developments of technology for later in life should of course focus on these common motivations, with adaptation to address some of the physical and mental challenges of older age. But in all our research and discussions one message came through strongly: digital technology has to be personally relevant, useful, and usable. This is particularly important if people have concerns about privacy, security and a general lack of trust in the unknown.
Our initial propositions in the exploration provided some ideas for how to address these issues, for example: understand peoples life stories for the skills, interests and attitudes they may have developed; help people tell their stories, and explore their interests using digital technology; use digital cameras, audio recorders, ebook readers and other devices that dont require a connection; take concerns about security and privacy seriously.
Challenge: How can we help people later in life - and those who may support them - explore what might suit their individual needs?\ Comments, resources and links to ideas on Storify - and embedded below\ View the story “1 Look at personal as well as common needs” on Storify