Within the user-centred design method, the effectiveness of the visual representation of concepts approach in eliciting user experiences and thoughts about products, systems and interfaces depends on the visualization skills of the user. However, the ability to visualize relies on the cognitive functions of the user, which are known to decline over the course of a lifetime. The study reported in this paper was aimed at exploring whether older people might encounter difficulties or fail to participate in concept design visualization. Vividness of visual imagery (VVI), object imagery preference (OI) and spatial imagery preference (SI) instruments were administered on thirty-one older participants. VVI was found to be the best predictor of participants' ease of visualization in concept design, followed by OI and then SI. The findings provide useful information for designers and facilitators when involving older people in the user-centred design method. It is recommended that a precursor assessment of the vividness with which older participants visualize images be conducted before the user-centred design process begins. Copyright © 2011 BERG.
CitationSiu, K. W. M., Ng, A. W. Y., & Chan, C. C. H. (2011). The imagery vividness and preferences of older people: Implications for visualization in concept design. The Design Journal, 14(4), 413-426. doi: 10.2752/175630611X13091688930417
- Design research
- User-centred design
- Conceptual design
- Older people