The older adult population will grow exponentially in the coming years with more baby boomers reaching retirement age. Yet, our online communities are not well supported for engaging them online. Older adults with internet access struggle to see the value of engaging in certain online communities. Offline seniors face many barriers to internet use (e.g. cost, access). Despite these barriers, there are social, financial, and health benefits to engaging online, specifically for older adults.
In my work, I primarily use a mixed methods approach (e.g. interviews, observations, surveys) to understand, design, and develop interactive systems for aging populations. In this talk, I present my research investigating how to create more meaningful online communities for seniors and more accessible systems to support seniors with vision impairments. This work explores designing for self-expression and connection, and I discuss the implications for future technology development.