Life-based design to ensure that technology is fit for life

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleProfessional


    New information and communications technology (ICT) issues, such as embeddedness and mobility, are changing our relationship to the environment, to other people, and even with ourselves. Using ICT is seen as an indispensable grammar of modern life [20-21]. Without it, one cannot fully participate in the society, plan one's life, or express oneself. Citizens of modern society face, with increasing speed, rapid technical development and growth of complexity in their environment. Nearly all public services employ information technology. At the same time, the structure of consumption has changed and the goods have become increasingly complex. ICT-literacy is needed in education, work, and hobbies, and even social contacts are organised more and more through information and communication technologies. Unfortunately, this development is not always a positive one; for example, many older people face difficulties and anxiety when trying to adopt new technologies [4, 13, 16-17]. This is, in most cases, due to failure in the design, specifically inability of the ICT design to consider everyday life properly, and the goals that people have in it. People have diverse expectations of the emerging technologies. These expectations originate in several forms of life and the needs associated with them in different life settings [7-8, 19]. For example, ageing people's consciousness of their well-being and health has increased. In growing numbers, older adults take care of their own fitness and health [5], and technology is welcomed as a tool for reaching this goal. However, ageing people experience technology and adapt it in a manner that many times contradicts that of the young. Accordingly, technology that is designed from the perspectives of young users is often found to be somehow complex, obscure, confusing, and not aesthetically pleasing by older adults. In the worst case, it is stigmatising and violates privacy [12], and it does not meet the needs of older people at an emotional level. In development of the information society, one should consider how the various needs and expectations of all generations, who differ in background, could best be met. In the discussion that follows, we examine design of the information society from the angle of Life-Based Design, including ethical design and co-design.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHighlights in service research
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7969-3
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7968-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeD2 Article in professional manuals or guides or professional information systems or text book material

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Research Highlights


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