Posted: Thu, 22/12/2016 - 17:16

At the end of October we sent out an email request to SiDE Pool members with email addresses.

We asked them to complete a survey regarding their motivations for taking part in research...

Social Networking: keeping in touch with friends and family

Posted: Thu, 08/01/2015 - 10:14

Loneliness and isolation have been identified as being significant factors influencing the health and wellbeing of people of all ages. It is of particular significance for older adults as their circle of family and friends diminishes over a longer period of time.

Chris Norval’s PhD aimed to improve social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter to fit the needs of older adults. While there are associated benefits with using such a website (for example, decreased loneliness and increased social interaction) the design and features of many of these sites are poorly suited for older adults. Chris stated that from the very start, working with members of the User Pool helped his research:

People from the SiDE User Pool worked together in a series of focus groups contributing their knowledge and experience and identifying potential improvements. Using their observations I was able to create a version of a mainstream social networking site to test with other participants from the User Pool.

There were identifiable and clear improvements to the newer version based on feedback from the SiDE User Pool members who participated in this study. The findings from this work were presented to leading academics and industry experts in Toronto at an international annual conferencethis year (2014). We hope that these suggestions are adopted and that it leads to an improved experience for a greater number of people in the future.