NPR just posted this article about a 90-year-old woman recently hired as a designer at IDEO.
What a great idea! As designers, our job is to understand and design for our intended audience. However, older designers may have problems identifying with younger users and younger designers may not really understand what elder users are going through. As our population ages, designing for elderly eyes, hands, bodies and minds is a challenging situation.
My colleagues at Pearson Education, led by Lisa Maurer, Design Research manager, have recently implemented KidsTeam, where schoolchildren actively participate in the design and research of Pearson’s educational products.
IDEO’s hiring elderly designers takes this approach for designing for the other end of the age spectrum.
Both programs show that user-centered design and research is alive and well in the User Experience (UX) community.