Towards ICT Support for Elderly Displaced People: Looking for Natural Gestures

  • Alessandra Melonio
  • Laura Tarantino
  • Tania Di Mascio
Conference paper


In the aftermath of natural disaster ICT-based tools can support technology-erudite people but risk to sharpen the isolation of vulnerable population groups because, e.g., of grey digital divide. In this paper we discuss some usability studies performed after L’Aquila earthquake on elderly people at risk of social isolation, to single out interaction needs and platform requirements for easy-to-use elderly oriented tools ideally not requiring learning need. In particular, we focus our analysis on intuitiveness of multifinger gestures on tablets.


Task Execution Cellular Phone Elderly User Card Game Temporary Shelter 


  1. 1.
    Barbini, F.M, D’Atri, A., Tarantino, L., Za, S. (2011), ICT support to the reconstruction of social meanings after a disaster, In G. Bradley, D. Whitehouse and G. Singh (Eds.), Proc of IADIS Intl Conf on ICT, Society and Human Beings 2011 (pp 224–228), Associate Editors: Luis RodriguesGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Callejas Z. & López-Cózar R. (2009), Designing smart home interfaces for the elderly, ACM SIGACCESS Newsletter, 95, 10–16.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Careem, M. et al (2006), Sahana: Overview of a Disaster Management System. In Proc of the Int Conf on Information and Automation (ICIA), Colombo, Sri Lanka, 361–366.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Czaja, S.J. & Lee, C.C. (2007), The impact of aging on access to technology, Universal Access in The Information Society - UAIS, 5(4), 341–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fisk A.D., Rogers W.A., Charness N., Czaja S.J, Sharit J. (2004), Designing for older adults, CRC Press, Boca Raton, USACrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Melonio, A. (2010), Interazione naturale con dispositivi di nuova generazione, University of L’Aquila, Master Thesis.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Murata, A. & Iwase, H. (2005). Usability of touch-panel interfaces for older adults. Journal of Human Factors. 47(4), 767–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Okolloh, O., 2009. Ushahidi, or ‘testimony’: Web 2.0 tools for crowdsourcing crisis information. Participatory learning and action, 59, 65–70.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Perry R.W. & Lindell M.K. (1978), The psychological consequences of natural disaster: a review of research on American communities, Mass Emergencies, 3, 105–115.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Stossel C. (2009), Familiarity as a Factor in Designing Finger Gestures for Elderly Users, In Proc. of the 11th Int Conf on Mobile HCI, New York: ACM.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
    Turoff M. et al (2004). The Design of Emergency Response Management Information Systems. Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 5,4, pp.1–35.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Vercruyssen, M, (1997), Movement control and speed of behavior. In A.D. Fisk, W.A. Rogers (Eds.), Handbook of human factors and the older adult (pp. 55–86). San Diego, CA, US: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Weick K.E. (1993). The collapse of sensemaking in organizations. The Mann Gulch disaster. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38(4), 628–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rau P.P., & Hsu J. (2005), Interaction devices and web design for novice older users, Educational Gerontology, USA, 2005, 39, 19–40.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nielsen J. & Mack R.L. (1994), Usability inspection methods, John Wiley &Sons, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandra Melonio
    • 1
  • Laura Tarantino
    • 1
  • Tania Di Mascio
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Ingegneria elettrica e dell’informazioneUniversità degli Studi dell’AquilaL’AquilaItaly

Personalised recommendations