From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Designing For Everyone

Regardless of the job, nearly every one of today’s workers will eventually find him or herself face-to-face with technology on the job. For the older worker, that can create a problem, particularly with today’s standard hardware.


Neil Charness, Ph.D., a faculty member of the Claude Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy at Florida State University, has been studying computer technology and older users, most recently looking at how an aging population interacts with input devices like the mouse. Charness found that the mouse, the most popular input device, is not always the best input device for older adults.


“Part of the problem is [the mouse is] a device with gain. Older adults have a problem with that. Double clicking is a big problem as well,” says Charness.


Charness’s studies have taken place in a lab environment at Florida State where technology is tested on three groups

This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2003-11-01.