Assessing Online-form Complexity for the Development of Assistive Technologies for Older Adults

Arthur Gregory Money, Senaka Fernando, Lorna Lines, Anthony D. Elliman


Although cognitive declines occur as a natural product of the ageing process, the majority of online-forms do not cater specifically for the needs of older adult users. As a consequence, online-forms pose significant usability challenges to this target user group. The Delivering Inclusive Access to Disabled and Elderly Members of the community (DIADEM) project aims to develop a plug-in to a web browser that adapts existing online-form content so that it is more accessible and usable for older adults with cognitive decline. In order to identify requirements for developing the DIADEM application, it is necessary to observe users interacting with online-forms, and identify the usability challenges that occur as a result of this. However, the format and functionality of online-form content presented on the web varies greatly. Identifying a representative sample of online-forms that may be presented to users within a trials setting to elicit key usability challenges, has proved to be a non-trivial task. Consequently, we have developed a set of Bespoke Online-form Selection (BOFS) criteria which are used to help identify appropriate and representative candidate online-forms that may be used within the user trials setting to formulate initial requirements for developing the DIADEM application. In the context of the DIADEM project, BOFS has proved to be a valuable tool which has been used to successfully identify online-forms for use in our user trials. This paper presents the BOFS criteria, and shows how these are aligned with cognitive declines that are typically presented by the older adult user group, and demonstrates how BOFS has been of value within the context of the DIADEM project.


Older adults, cognitive decline, online-form complexity, assistive technology, complexity.

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