Easierphone Consortium Partner, OST – Ostschweizer Fachhochschule won the Position Paper Award during the  9th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health ICT4AWE! Read the abstract and go for more findings…

Aging and digitalization are two major developments of the 21st century. Particularly, smartphone ownership increased to about over 80 % globally. Meanwhile, smartphones also gained great popularity among older adults, nonetheless, many still show fear of contact. The multi-national project Easierphone aims at empowering older adults and other vulnerable persons to effectively use smartphones.

A senior-friendly app, Easierphone, simplifies smartphones while replacing the common Android interface with an easier-to-use one. In addition, the Easierphone app enables two smartphones to be connected remotely to facilitate virtual assistance. A participative design is applied to conduct tests with older adults in three different pilots, in three different countries. Semi-structured interviews, try-out of the app, individual follow-up discussions, and co-creation workshops are conducted to collect data.

The Easierphone app to date is received positively by potential end-users. Many of the diverse functionalities of the app could be improved with feedback from test participants. The development process is an iterative one, in between each pilot, to achieve the best possible adjustments to the app. The preliminary results indicate that fear of contact still prevails, nonetheless. The simplified interface seems to provide a basis for older adults to use their smartphones with more confidence.