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Grannie Using Facetime

Grannie Goes Virtual: How COVID-19 Impacts Older Users

Jennifer Keene-MooreJennifer Keene-Moore is a Principal User Researcher who has specialized in studying older consumers.

For the past three years, she has presented at the Big Design Conference on the technology’s impact on older consumers by introducing the persona called Grannie.

Like any user researcher, Jennifer has been collecting secondary research and conducting original research on the impact of COVID-19 on older people, especially folks like Grannie.

Here is how Jennifer describes her talk:

In February 2020, Grannie discovered that she was considered “old and at risk” being older than 65 and living in the path of the Corona Virus. Grannie discovered that she had to rethink some of her most cherished activities: traveling to new places, meeting new people, doing volunteer activities, going to church, and generally socializing with her friends.

Grannie had to learn to do all these things virtually and she discovered that no one had ever thought what it would be like to have so many people over the age of 65 suddenly online buying all their groceries, socializing with their friends, talking to doctors and doing Tai Chi classes. Furthermore, it is likely that Grannie may enjoy her newfound freedom in doing mundane things online and start becoming a demanding consumer in the new normal world.

This talk will outline the needs of virtual Grannie and the journey map of Grannie as she realized that she needed to modify her behavior and try some new things. It will cover what mistakes she made, what services were lacking, and what services developed to help her. It will identify what fears she had to deal with and where she looked for information.

It will also examine some of the accessibility (a11y) assumptions made about seniors and whether the most recent experience presents any new reflections. It will use data from original interviews and the very, very new literature that is springing up about this UX opportunity to make Grannie feel competent and safe as she Zooms, Venmos, GrubHubs, and Slacks with her friends.

Jennifer always does an amazing job with her presentations. You will enjoy her energy, enthusiasm, and insights.

Simply put, Jennifer will make her Grannie proud.

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