A comparative study of information input devices for aging computer users

Nicole Jochems*, Sebastian Vetter, Christopher Schlick

*Corresponding author for this work
16 Citations (Scopus)


The fast aging of many western and eastern societies and their increasing reliance on information technology create a compelling need to reconsider older users' interactions with computers. Changes in perceptual and motor skill abilities that often accompany the aging process have important implications for the design of information input devices. This paper summarises the results of two comparative studies on information input with 90 subjects aged between 20 and 75 years. In the first study, three input devices - mouse, touch screen and eye-gaze control - were analysed concerning efficiency, effectiveness and subjective task difficulty with respect to the age group of the computer user. In the second study, an age-differentiated analysis of hybrid user interfaces for input confirmation was conducted combining eye-gaze control with additional input devices. Input confirmation was done with the space bar of a PC keyboard, speech input or a foot pedal. The results of the first study show that regardless of participants' age group, the best performance in terms of short execution time results from touch screen information input. This effect is even more pronounced for the elderly. Regarding the hybrid interfaces, the lowest mean execution time, error rate and task difficulty were found for the combination of eye-gaze control with the space bar. In conclusion, we recommend using direct input devices, particularly a touch screen, for the elderly. For user groups with severe motor impairments, we suggest eye-gaze information input.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)902-919
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2013


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparative study of information input devices for aging computer users'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this