Is perception the biggest barrier to technology adoption amongst older adults?
18 March 2021 | 0 Comment
Older adults face unique challenges when it comes to the adoption of new technology. The barriers can range from the physical to psychological.
Physical difficulties and challenges of using touch screen devices can include a loss of sensitivity in the finger tips and the fatigue associated with prolonged handling of a device whilst psychological can include diminished trust or understanding of new technology to lack of confidence in using it.
In truth the tech sector has fallen short in addressing these barriers for decades.
Poor design, complexity, patronising language, aesthetically unpleasing products, a disjointed user experience – you name it, and tech companies have seemingly done their best to scare off older users.
But perhaps the biggest barrier is the perceptions and fear that these ongoing failures have created amongst older adults.
When we developed Konnect we made it our mission to be customer led. In order to do so we needed to understand their needs whilst ensuring a change in both hearts and minds. It’s not always been easy, but 4 key perception barriers were identified and here is how we’ve worked with our older adult Users to overcome them:
1. Perceived lack of need
One of the first challenges we came up against was proof of market demand and desire. older adults have lived without many new texhnologies like video calling – so why start now? For many of our Users their initial response was ambivalence; it was simply more hassle and like a whole pile of precious tech gifts it would sit gathering dust.
It’s a valid point. So many of our Users had draws full of smartphone, tablets and wearables that had never been touched. But whereas these devices had hassle factors, learning new tech, remembering to charge them or where you left it – everyone uses their TV, usually daily. And it immediately became obvious that engaging with a Users family and friends to be on hand to make a first call was critical.
As soon as a User saw their loved one on the big screen, they understood how easy the system was to use – and that they could use with own TV and make calls to loved ones in seconds from the comfort of their own sofa. That’s when we knew we’d cracked it.
Older adults are the largest consumers of television content – so why not video calling?
One challenge facing many older adults is the fact that many are simply not confident in their own ability to learn about and properly use tech. This lack in confidence often results in frustration and even embarrassment.
By shifting technologies focus away from new devices as a delivery platform and towards their own TV, tech everyone is familiar with, we’ve managed to drive up adoption and engagement. Rather than being seen as frustration – older adults want to use Konnect because it enables digital inclusion through a platform they are already confident with.
3. Lack of privacy
Privacy and safety is a big concern for older adults – so big we’ve divided it in two segments. First, Privacy.
Rightly or wrongly, there is a perception that all tech companies are big and evil. It’s hard to question the rationale; big tech like Facebook and Google have been riddled with scandals over how they obtain, use and sell your data.
We knew we needed to put trust at the centre of everything we do.
So we committed to never sell your data, or use your data to serve you adverts. The data we collect is very specifically detailed to enable you to understand core insights about your health and well-being. Rather than being a faceless corporate, Kraydel wants to empower older adults to live healthier and happier lives.
4. Worries about scams, fraud and cyber-crime
The second part is safety. While sophisticated cybercrime is on the rise, online safety has never been more important or robustly defended. But the most prevalent fraudsters targeting older adults are “confidence tricksters”; people pretending to be friends, collecting for charity, appearing on dating or befriending websites.
At Kraydel we’ve adopted the latest in international online security standards – but most importantly we made the decision to keep your network of Supporters entirely private. Unlike Facebook, or Skype or most other platforms – with the Konnect there is no global directory, no one can add your Konnect Hub or contact you without the Admin Supporters authorisation.
This means you’re free to enjoy Konnect, safe in the knowledge that the only people around you are trusted Supporters.