November 18

Creating, Sharing, and Privacy: Designing Social Technologies for Older Adults

Anne Marie Piper, Northwestern University

Staying socially connected in older adulthood has important implications for health and wellbeing. Online engagement throughout the lifespan has also become a critical aspect of full participation in society. While increasing numbers of older adults are now active online, late-life disability can make staying socially connected through technology difficult. In this talk, I will describe the complexities of designing social technologies for older adults with cognitive impairments and introduce prototypes that help understand how to bridge gaps in online participation. These systems leverage familiar communication interfaces that allow older adults to express themselves in new ways while also attending to the role of caregivers, therapists, and family members in social interaction. Drawing on my work with older adults, I will argue that the field of human-computer interaction faces pressing challenges around how to help people sustain their online lives throughout the lifespan.

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Anne Marie Piper

Anne Marie Piper is an Assistant Professor in Communication Studies at Northwestern University. She holds courtesy appointments in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her research in human-computer interaction investigates natural user interfaces to support communication, social interaction, and learning across the lifespan. Much of her work focuses on new technologies for individuals with disabilities and older adults. Anne Marie is the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, 2014 Alumnae of Northwestern Award for Curriculum Development, Best Paper Awards and Nominations at ACM CHI, DIS, and ASSETS, and a 2011 UC-San Diego Interdisciplinary Scholar Award. Anne Marie received her PhD in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego, her MA in Education from Stanford University, and her BS in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Anne Marie also worked as a user experience researcher at Microsoft and LeapFrog.