Well-being and HCI in later life-what matters?

Arlene J. Astell*, Faustina Hwang, Elizabeth A. Williams, Libby Archer, Sarah Harney-Levine, Dave Wright, Maggie Ellis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As part of the Challenging Obstacles and Barriers to Assisted Living Technologies (COBALT) project, we developed the COBALT Tools for Engagement™, a number of innovative techniques to engage older people in all stages of the technology development process. In the present study we used Technology Tours of the homes of eight older adults to look at their daily usage and examine the ways in which technology influences well-being. All of the participants use multiple technologies every day both inside the home and out. The data highlighted how technology contributes to well-being in a number of ways, including enabling them to maintain current activities; providing a means of staying in touch with families and friends; being easy to access and learn to use; and enhancing their lives. These can be divided into two types of factors: ones that relate to the direct outcomes of technology use and how these contribute to feelings of wellbeing and factors that relate to meeting an individual’s needs, which if met contribute to their well-being. The findings indicate that well-being is a multi-faceted construct that includes autonomy, i.e. remaining independent, competence both in continuing to complete activities and learning new ones, and communication with other people. The study also indicates that Technology Tours provide an easily applicable and accessible means for enabling older adults to speak as ‘experts’ on technology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Interface and the Management of Information
Subtitle of host publicationApplications and Services - 18th International Conference, HCI International 2016, Proceedings
EditorsSakae Yamamoto
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783319403960
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCI International 2016 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 17 Jul 201622 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCI International 2016

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