Demographic change and the digital transformation pose great challenges to our today’s society. Processes and activities are being turned upside down and our social environment is also changing. Digital inclusion is especially important for elderly people. The inclusion of elderly people into the process digital transformation enables two things: On the one hand, it becomes easier for them to keep a self-determined life in their own home environment. At the same time we can keep elderly people integrated in social life. Nevertheless, enormous challenges in terms of requirements and UX must be overcome by such systems. The workshop consists of a stimulating, invited lecture and aims at a presentation of about 5-8 submitted papers with a following discussion. Through an integrated interactive discussion round, approaches but also practice-relevant solutions will be discussed and worked out. On the one hand, the workshop will be designed by the organizers as a traditional scientific workshop. A program committee will evaluate the submissions and select the papers accepted for presentation. These will also be published in the Proceedings of „Mensch und Computer 2020“. On the other hand, the workshop is intended to provide an interactive approach to current developments and topics.

1 Motivation

Our society is currently undergoing significant changes. On the one hand the digital transformation is turning established processes, activities and habits upside down. It is completely changing the way we live our daily lives. On the other hand, demographic change is creating a totally new social structure. The so-called population pyramid is being turned upside down as well. These changes offer both opportunities and risks.

Demographic change is caused by low birth rates and increasing life expectancy and improvements in medicine. As a result the proportion of elderly people in society is steadily rising. This leads, for example, to more people suffering from chronic diseases and more people being confronted with physical limitations. At the same time, older people want and should have the possibility to have a self-determined and independent live as long as possible. The fact that the social network of elderly people changes dramatically with increasing age makes this even more difficult. Due to smaller family ties, fewer siblings and fewer children, the circle of relatives with whom elderly people can maintain contact is becoming smaller and smaller. At the same time, growing mobility leads to bigger distances within familiy ties which need to be bridged amongst the family members. This makes it even more difficult to maintain active contact with the family, especially with the younger and fitter family members. In addition, friends and the spouse may already be deceased or have health problems themselves. Cross-generational living rarely takes place nowadays. A consequence of this may be the loss of social participation and connected to this the isolation and loneliness of elderly people. It is assumed that loneliness can be the cause of illnesses and that it causes, e.g. through medical treatment etc., direct costs to the national economy.

As a second upheaval, the digital transformation offers the possibility to network and connect everything digitally and mobile. It enables us to provide many areas of our lives with unexpected convenience functions. Self-driving cars, streaming all movies and music at any time or even smart homes are just the beginning. In the economy, robotics for physically heavy work or industry 4.0 is establishing a safe working environment as well as unimaginable possibilities for individualisation of products. However, people must be able to use these solutions.

With regard to this, especially elderly people are facing unexpected challenges. Without an accompanied and guaranteed introduction to these new possibilities, it is difficult for them to benefit from these advantages. The digital inclusion of this population group is therefore essential.

If this digital inclusion succeeds, elderly people will have numerous opportunities to lead a self-determined life through digital assistance systems and to experience good support in their everyday life. Smart Home solutions can support residents in their daily routines or even automatically call for help in case of an emergency. At the same time, digital assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Co. can be used to better integrate elderly people into social life. Via video call or local digital services within the neighborhood, they get to notice and know more of their family, friends and neighbors. Establishing such systems, the respective needs of the target group with regard to UX must be taken into account.

2Objectives and contents of the workshop

The workshop aims to establish a forum concerning the topic of digital inclusion and life support focussing on everyday support, social participation and the reduction of loneliness through clever assistance systems. Experts from science and practice will have a platform to exchange ideas and experiences. At the same time, the workshop aims to open the discussion to a wider audience. Interested parties can submit research and development work – even in the early stages – in German or English. Possible types of contributions:

  • new procedures or tools
  • design studies, e.g. UI design, persuasive design
  • reports of practical implementation (successful and failed examples)
  • system demonstrations
  • field-tested methods, best practices
  • critical reflections (challenges, pitfalls)
  • theoretical/future-oriented works and activities
  • ongoing research and development projects

The workshop would like to consider a range of topics as broad as possible. Some current examples are:

  • new forms of interaction and user interfaces, e.g. voice user interfaces, smart home, sensor technology
  • concepts for such systems and prototypes
  • concrete UI design

conrete applications/experiences from practice:

  • challenges for such systems from a UX perspective
  • exchange and networking of actors involved
  • transfer of knowledge between the seniors

The accepted contributions will be presented in lectures and discussed with the entire auditorium. Furthermore, the written submissions will be published.

In addition to the submitted contributions, there will also be an invited lecture with practical experiences on this topic. This lecture is intended to provide impulses for practice in the field of digital inclusion. Furthermore, an interactive session will take place in the afternoon. In this session topics will be developed in groups and afterwards presented. This aims to enable the participants to critically examine and question innovative topics in the field of UX and to develop new ideas.

The result of the workshop is a documented collection of new developments and research results as well as for the interactive part an intensive exchange of knowledge between the participants based on the interaction on the day of the workshop itself.

3Programme committee

The programme committee of the workshop is going to review the technical and content-related aspects of the submissions and support the dissemination of the Call for Papers on the workshop. The members of the programme committee have experience in the field of digital transformation, digital inclusion and the special needs of seniors:

  • Anke Marzi (DRK Landesverband RLP)
  • Annette Spellerberg (TU Kaiserslautern) 
  • Clara Beck (Centigrade)
  • Frank Elberzhager (Fraunhofer IESE) 
  • Gerrit Meixner (HS Heilbronn)
  • Jan Braunschedel (DRK Landesverband RLP)
  • Manfred Brill (HS Kaiserslautern)
  • Nora Wolfsheim (Centigrade)
  • Norbert Seyff (FHNW)
  • Rainer Zeimentz (Entwicklungsagentur Rheinland-Pfalz)
  • Svenja Polst (Fraunhofer IESE)

All submitted scientific contributions will be reviewed by the members of the programme committee in a double-blind peer review process. Each submission is going to be evaluated by three reviewers. Selection criteria for acceptance are the relevance, originality and the scientific quality of the contribution, a clear description of the solution approach and a convincing proof of its usefulness.

4 Organization

The workshop will be held as a full-day co-located to the Mensch und Computer 2020. The workshop will be conducted by the three following organizers:

  • Simon André Scherr (Fraunhofer IESE)
  • Annika Meier (Fraunhofer IESE)
  • Susanne Gill (Entwicklungsagentur Rheinland-Pfalz)