Phone use and aging: do spatial interface metaphors help?

Mark Turner, Roxane Cortes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


This study compared the usability of two different speech activated automated telephone services with a group of older adults, aged between 50 and 87. All participants completed a series of information search tasks with a standard numbered menu system, and with a specially developed menu system designed around a spatial metaphor. Automated menu systems presented a significant barrier for older adults with only 59% of participants able to complete all search tasks. Task completion improved when using the spatial metaphor-based version of the service. The spatial ability of participants was related to successful task completion with both services. Time taken to complete search tasks correlated with working memory capacity only in the case of the standard service and not the metaphor-based service. The incorporation of spatial metaphor within automated telephone systems may therefore provide an important aid to navigation when developing future services with older adults in mind.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign, user experience, and usability
Subtitle of host publicationtheory, methods, tools and practice : First International Conference, DUXU 2011, Held as Part of HCI International 2011, Orlando, FL, USA, July 9-14, 2011, Proceedings
EditorsAaron Marcus
ISBN (Electronic)9783642216756
ISBN (Print)9783642216749
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventDUXU 2011: First international conference on design, user experience and usability - Orlando, United States
Duration: 9 Jul 201114 Jul 2011

Publication series

NameLecture notes in computer science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


ConferenceDUXU 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States


Dive into the research topics of 'Phone use and aging: do spatial interface metaphors help?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this