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Predictions from report -- The Tech User Experience Needs an Upgrade

The decline of our tech experience was slow  it was barely noticeable for a while. Then device proliferation in homes – and the corresponding frustration became too obvious to miss. An  AARP report notes, "No one prefers badly designed, over-complicated products." Yet that's what we get. Despite preferences, surveys show that today’s user experience for older adults is more problematic than ever. All are confronted with buggy software and frequent bug fix releases, such as a problem on iPhones that an embarrassed Apple redirected software work towards fixing. At the same time, innovation in new categories like Conversational and GenAI, machine learning and prediction have emerged and can help improve experiences if deployed properly. Over the next five years, it is highly likely that:

Our preferred tech platform will provide an agent that acts on our behalf.  A profile about our preferences and tech behavior can easily be assembled and accessed with our permission. This profile can drive our experience, from the refrigerator to the doorbell to the car.  We will be able to customize it to create an agent that acts on our behalf, freeing us to use our own words and in our own way.  The agent will know our agreed-upon terms of service, sources to retrieve our data and a contact list to use in the software.

Device unboxing will be age friendly. Whether in the store or at home, unboxing a device will offer the opportunity to access a profile if one exists. Imagine turning on a device and having a few basic accessibility questions asked and suggestions made – use this link or speak a request to learn more about ease-of-use features of this product, one of which could be training a device to learn your voice.  Another guides adjustment of color contrast or font size.

Device startup. Personalization can occur at the point of purchase – incorporating the profile at appropriate points in the setup, bringing in the apps identified, and authenticating the user as feasible. Once a profile is available, the device (such as a phone, tablet, PC, Mac or Smart TV) will start up with profile-specific characteristics incorporated.

From the new report The User Experience Needs an Upgrade May 2024

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