PsychNology Journal, Volume 4, Number 2, 267 – 284

Inclusive design and human factors: designing mobile phones for older users

Matthew Pattison
PDD, London, UK

Alex Stedmon
Human Factors Research Group, University of Nottingham, UK



This paper reviews the human factors requirements of mobile phones in order to facilitate inclusive design and provide older users with technological support that enhances their day-to-day lives. Particular emphasis is placed on whether human factors requirements are fully considered and meet the needs of older users. The scope of this review is necessarily wide including: human factors, gerontology, inclusive design, technology and design research methodologies. Initial consideration is given to understanding what it means to be an older user and the changes that occur with the aging process. Older user requirements are examined in relation to achieving inclusive design solutions and the way in which human factors methodology can be used to support inclusive design goals. From this standpoint, attention is given to the design of mobile phones, considering how human factors issues are reflected in product design and context of use beyond the phone handset to the wider interaction environment. This paper does not propose specific direction from primary research findings but argues for a ‘state of the union’ with regard to the current approaches designers and manufacturers adopt and the effects that design decisions have on potential end users. This paper argues that when effective and flexible human factors methodology and inclusive design ethos is integrated into the product development process global benefits to a wide user population can maximise inclusion as opposed to exclusion via technological advances.



Human factors, inclusive design, older users, mobile phones, cell of exclusion


Pattison P. and Stedmon A. (2006). Inclusive design and human factors: designing mobile phones for older users. PsychNology Journal, 4(3), 267-284. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

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