Elderly people often struggle with technology because the products aren’t designed with them in mind, according to Ming Yang, founder and CEO of Orchard. On the CyberWire’s Hacking Humans podcast, Yang explained that this often leads to older people being excluded from an increasingly technical society.
“Technology is not designed for older users,” she said. “Big, vicious design loop that in human-computer interaction and user design, we look at, who are we designing this for? How are they going to use it? And then we design around that and make sure that is a great experience. And because for the most part, designers don't think that an older adult will be the target audience for using the technology, so then they don't design for the older adults, which then older adults cannot use it because it's not designed for them, which this creates this giant, vicious cycle that I think it's time for some breaking.”
Yang added that older adults want to learn how to use technology for themselves.
“What I've learned is that they actually really want to learn,” Yang said. “They see this as a self-improvement process that is similar to, for us, going to the gym. It's an ever-growing self-improvement process that – it's stressful. We know that it's good for us, and we put it off, but we know why we should do it. So that's why we get the gym membership that we use, let's say, like, once a month. But for older adults, it's the same thing. It's a learning process. They know that it's good for them. Learning technology is crucial. They know the benefits, but they need help. Like, they need someone that is consistent, that is patient, that understands what they need to know and how they need to learn it. And they just have not been able to find these people. And I think that's what they struggle the most. They want help, but no one's been reaching out and saying, yes, let me help you. And that's what we do.”
There are apparently some generational differences in how best to help your people work securely and effectively. New-school security awareness training can help your employees learn how to use technology safely in their personal and professional lives.