Skeuomorphic Reassurance: Personhood and Dementia

Abstract : User interface design needs to be revisited for people with dementia. This paper introduces ‘skeuomorphic reassurance’ as a guiding principle for human interfaces in technological design, particularly for older people and people with dementia (PwD). Skeuomorphs exhibit decorative design elements reminiscent of ‘parent’ objects that incorporated such design elements because they were structurally integral.The philosophy of personhood is discussed in the context of dementia, concluding that the subjective character of conscious mental processes is an irreducible feature of reality, and the persistence of personhood in PwD supports this assertion.Assistive technologies that aid carers, as well as PwD, need to ensure that skeuomorphic reassurance is incorporated in their design, not least because older people and PwD need recognisable interfaces today, but because the problems today’s over-65s have with digital technologies may not go away, but re-present themselves generation after generation, unless skeuomorphic reassurance is built into their design.
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Conference papers
David Kreps; Gordon Fletcher; Marie Griffiths. 12th IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC), Sep 2016, Salford, United Kingdom. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, AICT-474, pp.61-71, 2016, Technology and Intimacy: Choice or Coercion. 〈10.1007/978-3-319-44805-3_6〉
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David Kreps, Oliver Burmeister, Jessica Blaynee. Skeuomorphic Reassurance: Personhood and Dementia. David Kreps; Gordon Fletcher; Marie Griffiths. 12th IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC), Sep 2016, Salford, United Kingdom. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, AICT-474, pp.61-71, 2016, Technology and Intimacy: Choice or Coercion. 〈10.1007/978-3-319-44805-3_6〉. 〈hal-01449450〉

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