Mobile Handset Touch Screen User Interface Design for Novice Senior Users

Michael Hölzl

Research output: Types of ThesesMaster's Thesis / Diploma Thesis


As the number of older people worldwide is growing, the requirements in our technical devices are changing. A mobile phone is going to become more and more important for users in higher ages. However, senior citizens have different needs and requirements for their mobile devices. Currently available User Interfaces do not embrace those needs to make the interaction easy and understandable for this population group. Especially novice users, who do not have any experience with mobile phones, are facing accessibility barriers with newer technologies. In this thesis, we will investigate those problems and propose a concept, using touch screen technology, to make an easy understandable UI for seniors on mobile handsets. An approach, that we are using for that purpose is the integrated scalable help system, which should allow the interface to be adaptive to the high diversity of our target group. Another concept idea is the Contact centred or Content centred MMI. Compared to the common Function centred MMI, it is a structured interface which places the contacted human in the middle of the interaction. If the seniors want to call or write a message, they don't need to use the complicate way of navigating through menus. With the Content centred MMI, the users just have to find the contact in the phone book and decide the way of interaction afterwards, not vice versa. In all these concept ideas we additionally try to make the smart phone more accessible. We concentrate on the most often occurring disabilities for elderlies like sight difficulties or movement disorders. This is done with specially big text in buttons and text fields and a clear structure of the interface.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Touch screen
  • mobile phone
  • adaptive interface
  • senior users
  • book based navigation
  • book-oriented


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