Designing social networking sites for older adults

Lorna Gibson, Wendy Moncur, Paula Forbes, John Arnott, Christopher Martin, Amritpal S. Bhachu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

70 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of older adults' social networks in providing practical, emotional and informational support is well documented. In this paper, we reflect on the personal social networks of older adults, and the shortcomings of existing online Social Networking Sites (SNSs) in supporting their needs. We report findings from ethnographic interviews, focus groups and hands-on demonstrations with older adults, where we find key themes affecting adoption of SNSs. We then consider design aspects that should be taken into account for future SNSs, if they are to meet the preferences of older users.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 24th BCS Interaction Specialist Group Conference
EditorsTom McEwan, Lachlan M. McKinnon
Place of PublicationSwindon
PublisherBCS Learning & Development Ltd.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781780171302
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event24th British HCI Group Annual Conference: People and Computers XXIV Games are a Serious Business - University of Abertay, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Sep 201010 Sep 2010
Conference number: 24th


Conference24th British HCI Group Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleHCI 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
OtherThe current state of HCI is an amazing topology of interlinked topics and techniques, with ideas bouncing between and across other domains. What was once the struggle to identify and encourage the adoption of good practice, has grown into a massive multiplayer game, a global endeavour that makes vast forests of business and commerce possible and viable, and that potentially empowers and sustainably enables the disadvantaged in every society. The game has indeed become a serious business.


  • Personal social networks
  • Older adults
  • Social networking sites
  • Privacy
  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'Designing social networking sites for older adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this