Turning older people’s experiences into innovations: ippi as the convergence of mobile services and TV viewing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper presents the results of a research project in which a patented system for asynchronous communication (“ippi”) is used as the basis for a prototype communication device utilizing the participants’ televisions as the primary interface. The aim was to study the extent to which older people’s lifelong experiences watching TV reduced their uncertainty when faced with TV-based applications. The study examined the factors that explained participants’ continued use of the application. The implementation and testing of the system was structured as an iterative design process including conceptual development, a six-month test period in the homes of eleven users with usability tests and interviews, monthly focus groups and information gathered by a back-up function that also provided the users with immediate help with the technology if necessary. The results show that while the use of TV as a metaphor or platform succeeded in getting the older users to try out and use the ippi prototype, it did not contribute primarily to using the ippi on a daily basis during the test period. Rather, participants’ access to a social context or a social network determined the extent of usage. There was a difference between what was easy to use in terms of the interface, and what was easy and worth using in a social everyday context on the other. In order to be used, a new product of this type must add value and that value depends upon integration into daily communication.


  • Britt Östlund
  • Kjell Lindén
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Original languageEnglish
JournalHistorielärarnas Förenings Årsskrift
Publication statusSubmitted - 2011
Publication categoryResearch