Usability Evaluation of Assistive Technologies through Qualitative Research Focusing on People with Mild Dementia

Ikram Asghar, Shuang Cang, Hongnian Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The assistive technologies (ATs) are commonly used for the wellbeing of people with dementia (PWD). Research shows that current ATs are not performing to their best and high rate of AT abandonment still exist. Although empirical evaluations greatly impact AT success, yet only few studies investigated AT usability for PWD. To the best of authors knowledge there is no AT usability evaluation study conducted in the South Asia. Therefore a qualitative study is carried out to identify which AT factors encourage and discourage the PWD through semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis is used to generate themes and sub-themes. The (happy users, non-happy users and technology and human care) emerged as three main themes while, (communication, monitoring and reminders) as popular AT types. Most PWD use ATs for socialization and health monitoring. Overall the PWD appreciated the role of ATs in their lives, but showed concerns about interface efficacy, function simplicity and elderly requirements adaptation. The already met and unmet needs of the PWD are also investigated. The AT producers should make user interface simpler and tailor future ATs to the specific requirements of the PWD. The user centered techniques should be adopted for the development of new ATs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-201
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue numberFebruary 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Assistive technology
  • Dementia
  • Usability
  • Evaluation
  • Empirical investigation
  • Semi-structured interviews


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