Scenario-based Co-design with Older Adults: A Design Case on Decreasing Loneliness
Sefora Tunc, Femke Nijboer, Geke Ludden, Lex van Velsen, Monique Tabak


In many developed countries, the number of older adults is increasing. Many of them suffer from loneliness, causing mental and physical health challenges. Technological innovations offer the potential to address such challenges. However, a mismatch between user needs and intervention design often leads to abandoning technology. Therefore, we propose a multi-stakeholder scenario-based co-design approach to design a desirable technological solution for and with older adults. To develop in-depth and relatable scenarios, we extended the methodology with dilemma-driven design and the NADI (Needs and Aspirations for Design and Innovation) model. The approach was tested in a case study involving 80 older adults and 20 geriatric experts and industry partners using an iterative design method with four phases. We found that implementing such an approach allows older adults to overcome taboos and express themselves freely. The transdisciplinary collaboration has led to increased empathy and unexpected ideas based on the needs and wishes of older adults. The incorporation of dilemma-driven design and the NADI model offered clarity in translating the gathered information into effective scenarios. In conclusion, the implementation of a multi-stakeholder scenario-based co-design approach offers the potential to design suitable solutions for older adults suffering from complex societal challenges.

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