structional analysis to determine the form, content, and medium that will provide effective instructions for initial learning, retention over time, troubleshooting, and system maintenance.
The techniques of iterative, user-centered design and user testing provide methods of ensuring that systems will be usable. There are documented components to usability that provide guidance for design: learnability, efficiency, memorability, error avoidance, and satisfaction. Techniques such as rapid prototyping to develop mock representations of a product can be used to identify critical flaws early in the design process. Similarly, “wizard-of-oz” methods may be used to mimic what the system will do to measure user behaviors and expectation, prior to the expense of building the final product. Practitioners with these skills should be involved throughout the technology development process, whether it is the development of a single web site or the development of the smart home of the future.
These are exciting times for researchers and practitioners who are interested in making a difference in the lives of aging citizens. As this workshop has attested, technological opportunities abound, and it is likely that, whether the multidisciplinary communities that have a stake in making them successful participate or not, many of these technologies will reach the marketplace and some of them will be imposed on the older population in the interests of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. It is up to the readers of this workshop report to make sure that these technologies are developed in ways that will ensure their success and to ensure that future cohorts of the population age with greater dignity, feelings of self-worth, accomplishment, and happiness.