Comment from Clive: Smarter neighbourhoods of the future will require more than technological wizardry

clive-gilbertOf all the social problems confronting Britain today, the housing shortage is one of the most vexing. Estimates suggest that the gap between the number of new homes needed in England and those available is 100,000 per year.

While outdated planning laws and political controversy conspire to slow construction to a trickle, a generational divide continues to widen between younger people who can barely afford to rent and the swelling ranks of older home owners living in oversized properties which are not suited to the practicalities of daily life as an older person.

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Comment from Clive: The digital divide between older and young people represents a wasted opportunity for the technology industry

clive-gilbertOlder people have many advantages over the young. The accumulation of years brings experience, wisdom and contentment. Older age can also be a time of discovery, when the commitments of family and working life recede and give way to personal interests and pursuits.

While older people have far more opportunities for self fulfilment in later life than ever before, they are still less likely to be able to enjoy the benefits of the digital age. The latest figures show that people aged 65 and over are less likely to have access to the internet or own a smartphone and tend to value the postal system as a means of regular communication more than others.

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Comment from Clive: We need more transparency about the pros and cons of technologies

clive-gilbertResearch tells us that most assistive technology equipment is abandoned, often within the first year. Products frequently fail to match consumer expectations for effectiveness, durability, comfort and ease of use.

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Comment from Clive: Voice recognition comes of age

clive-gilbertSince the dawn of mainstream personal computing in the 1980s, the mouse and keyboard have become such an integral part of our daily routines that it might seem hard to imagine how or why we would consider life without them. And yet, technologists are always seeking breakthroughs that will herald the next big thing to revolutionise our increasingly digitised world.

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A brief history of the Wizzybug Loan Scheme: Nina’s story

nina-evansNina Evans, Research Occupational Therapist at Designability, was part of the team that developed our Wizzybug wheelchair. Here, she looks back at how Designability worked to design a fun mobility device that could transform the lives of young disabled children.

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Turning ideas into products with real impact: a people-centred approach to design

Keir HainesKeir Haines, Senior Product Designer at Designability, oversees our new product development and is actively involved in our consultancy work, delivering people-centred design services to other companies. He is passionate about understanding ‘who’ you are designing for in order to design great products that people will enjoy using.

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Misconceptions about designing technology for dementia – it’s simple or it’s impossible!

dsc_0503-bw-reducedHazel Boyd, User Interface Engineer at Designability, specialises in designing technology with and for people with dementia. She wants to tackle some myths that are commonly assumed when designing for dementia.

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