Creating a product that breaks through stereotypes about aging requires two things. First you must abandon everything you think you know about people in midlife and beyond. And second, you must learn what this market actually wants and needs. Only then can creativity find a purposeful direction. As part of the MasterCard Labs LaunchPad project, a team of developers, designers, experts on aging and business stakeholders began the ideation process with some key insights about aging Americans. They began by considering some of the challenges older consumers face when trying to use technology: When people reach the age of 40, the majority experience decreased color vision, especially when it comes to blue. The ability to see in low lighting decreases and the visual field declines. Additionally, the older population deals with the same aggravations noted by the overall smartphone/tablet user base. Per research, nearly half experience content as not displaying properly, poor or dropped signal quality, and apps not working correctly. In addition, aging people also face changes in their sensory, motor and cognitive skills. Because of this, they can take more time to learn, experience more errors, and forget how to operate a system. However:
- Older does not mean less effective.
- Older adults often compensate well for a decrease in health. If they decline in perceptual-motor measure, they usually look farther ahead.
- Older people learn skills more readily when they call upon previous expertise.
- Perceived usefulness: the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance, and
- Perceived ease of use: whether people can use the system without much effort.