“I don’t want to live with old people.”
“I need a way to make friends, someone to meet me for coffee.”
“I need a personal driver.”
“I have too much paperwork in my life, what should I do with it all?”
These are just a few of the concerns raised by seniors at a recent gathering of the Longevity Explorers interest group at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
A complaint often heard when it comes to products and services designed for older people is that the creators don’t perform enough due diligence — simply put, they work on solving problems, rather than asking seniors what they want.
This is why we ask student teams entering the Design Challenge to provide information about user testing. And when our judges evaluate the submissions we receive, they are looking for user-centered design, rather than “the next great idea.”
Of course, “Promoting Lifelong Healthy Habits Through Design” isn’t focused just on persons over 55. Our goal is to encourage an understanding that the activities we do (or don’t do) in every decade of life are what contribute to longevity and well-being.
You can click here for a look at some of specific wellbeing-related actions that we measured in our 2016 Sightlines Report, which we selected based on experts’ recommendations and reliable datasets.
Student designers may also wish to seek out local organizations in their areas so they can meet older people and others who are impacted by concerns about financial security, physical health, or social engagement.