Designing for the other 'hereafter': When older adults remember about forgetting

Laura Ramos, Elise van den Hoven, Laurie Miller

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

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Designing to support memory for older individuals is a complex challenge in human-computer interaction (HCI) research. Past literature on human memory has mapped processes for recalling past experiences, learning new things, remembering to carry out future intentions and the importance of attention. However, the understanding of how older adults perceive forgetting in daily life remains limited. This paper narrows this gap through a study with older persons (n=18) living independently using self-reporting and semi-structured focus groups to explore what they forget, how they react, and what mechanisms they put in place to recover from and avoid forgetting. Findings include occurrences of prospective and retrospective memory lapses, conflicting negative and neutral perceptions, and techniques to manage forgetting. Participant responses indicate that an awareness of forgetting fosters internal tensions among older adults, thereby creating opportunities for further design research, e.g., to defuse and normalise these reactions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCHI '16
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450333627
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventACM CHI 2016: #chi4good - San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, United States
    Duration: 7 May 201612 May 2016


    ConferenceACM CHI 2016
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Jose
    Internet address


    • Diary study
    • Everyday remembering
    • Human memory
    • Human-computer interaction
    • Interaction design
    • Older persons
    • Perceptions about forgetting

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
    • Software


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