Designing for Older Adults: Principles and Creative Human Factors Approaches (e-Book) book cover

Designing for Older Adults

Principles and Creative Human Factors Approaches

By Arthur D. Fisk, Wendy A. Rogers, Neil Charness, Sara J. Czaja, Joseph Sharit

© 2004 – CRC Press

176 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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As life expectancy increases, older workers and the retired form a large and growing proportion of the world’s population. Professionals working to develop systems and environments need to better accommodate the user needs of the older adult.

This new guide provides a practical introduction to human factors and the older adult. It considers the subject primarily from an engineering psychology perspective, heavily grounded in today’s scientific knowledge. The authors show how current understanding of age-related issues of perception, cognition, and movement control can be applied in practice. They also provide a reference source with guidelines and advice for design issues ranging from lighting, computer input device selection, and web site design, to training program development and work task design.

The text draws on research-oriented work and presents this in a form that can be used by the broad audience of product designers, health care practitioners, managers, and others who need answers to problems and require sound recommendations for design.


“… the goal for the book is to provide a primer on the issues that must be considered when designing systems, products or environments for older adults. … Overall, I think that this is a useful book for designers and ergonomists alike as it does provide a good summary of both, the effects of ageing and what we can do to help older people overcome these effects and continue to lead a full and active life. At the same time, life ca be made a little easier for the rest of the population.”

— Magdalen Galley, Ergonomics Consultant, in Ergonomics, vol. 50, No. 2, February 2007

“Guidelines are grouped by topic and presented in bullet format or in tables, which makes [this book] ideal as a quick-reference text. … This book is well written in a clear, straightforward language. … [A]ppropriate as a basic reference for practitioners and designers who want to better serve the aging population. I could also envision it being incorporated as a supplementary text in a course on aging and human factors. … I highly recommend [this book] for product designers or readers wanting an introduction to age-related design issues.”

Ergonomics in Design, Summer 2005

“Recommended for professionals who design systems, products or environments for adult learners. Industrial engineers, product designers and others concerned with human factors and ergonomics would find the guidelines useful. Recommended for academic libraries with curricula in engineering, gerontology and related health and psychology professions.”

E-Streams, Vol. 7, No. 12, Dec. 2004

Table of Contents


Toward Better design for Older Adults

Characteristics of Older Adult Users

Guiding the Design Process


Improving Perception of Information

Developing Training and Instructional Programs

Design of Input and Output Devices

Interface Design


Making the Work Environment Age-friendly

Maximizing the Usefulness and Usability of Health Care Technologies


Synthesis and Comments



About the Series

Human Factors and Aging Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety