Bridging the Gap between Functionality and User Experience in ...

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Abstract

In response to the growing emphasis on user-friendly technology for older adults, this article addresses the importance of senior-friendly design in the realm of smartwatches. Recognizing the convenience of smartwatches yet underscoring the need for alignment with human values and needs, we emphasize the crucial role of prioritizing user needs. Current smartwatches often fall short in catering to the unique requirements of seniors, thereby hindering their widespread adoption. Age-related challenges, such as impaired vision and hearing, necessitate a thoughtful approach that includes customization and personalization options to enhance acceptance among seniors. This study encourages avoiding stereotypes based on age in design and emphasizes the importance of thinking about the diverse needs and abilities of users. A comprehensive review of forty-two smartwatches for senior adults, conducted primarily through accessing information from the companies’ webpages, forms the foundation of this article, revealing a prevailing oversight of seniors’ distinct requirements and challenges in current designs. By offering choices for personalization to enhance acceptance, the study emphasizes the importance of empowering seniors in using smartwatches, while also advising against reinforcing stereotypes related to age in design. Informed by Self-Determination Theory and market insights, this article advocates for a re-evaluation of smartwatch design for seniors, with a focus on Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness as a framework. This approach not only enhances motivation but also contributes to the overall well-being of seniors in the field of wearable technology.