Your Mom Has an iPad: Designing for Boomers

A session at SXSW Interactive 2011

Saturday 12th March, 2011

11:00am to 12:00pm (CST)

It’s a cultural phenomenon that most of us didn’t see coming: baby boomers are taking over Facebook, while the millenials are abandoning it like crazy because it is so last year. After all, what 20-something wants his mom to see his status update about last night’s party?

This example signifies a trend in technology overall: the assumed late adopters are now joining early adopters as technology becomes increasingly easy and fun to use.  Devices such as the Wii and the iPad have overwhelmingly been adopted by the older and less technologically savvy crowd.

The trend has significant design implications. As we’re designing for emergent devices, we need to be very aware that we’re definitely not designing for ourselves. User research will become even more critical, with particular attention paid to the more mature crowd as they have different needs from other generations. Security, privacy and ease of use are key attributes for this audience that we may have overlooked, thinking we were designing for younger users.

During this session, John will discuss specific case studies of companies that saw the benefits of conducting the necessary user research to understand the needs, goals and motivations of the boomer crowd as well as specific design techniques that appeal to a more mature audience. In addition, he’ll also explore whether there is one, common design language that speaks to the needs of multiple generations.

LEVEL: Intermediate

About the speaker

This person is speaking at this event.
John McRee

Way cooler than you think I am. bio from Twitter

Next session in Ballroom B

12:30pm Time Traveling: Interfaces for Geotemporal Visualization by Irene Ros, Ryan Shaw, Ana Boa-Ventura, Adam Rabinowitz and Nicholas Rabinowitz

29 attendees

  • Ashley Novak
  • Joey deVilla
  • Alessio Gianni
  • Rob Borley
  • Chiara Bernasconi
  • Chad Hutchings
  • Jasmine Trabelsi
  • Dan Berger
  • Mr. Addenbrooke
  • Corey Gehrt
  • Heather Capri ツ
  • Johan Kuijt
  • john mcree
  • Julia Prior
  • Luciana Misura
  • luciemclean
  • Marko Karppinen
  • Marty DeAngelo
  • Matt Le Gresley
  • Micah Laney
  • Michiel Berger
  • Rachel Mercer
  • Greg Robleto
  • poptune
  • Alex Watson
  • Yesenia Sotelo
  • Troy Foley
  • Jim Robinson
  • zhiyao

42 trackers

  • Andrea Nordgren
  • Anonymous
  • Anthony Bruno
  • Arena Reed
  • Beau
  • Becky Minervino
  • bradstrong
  • Bruno Alves Mendonça
  • Cameron Daigle
  • Chuy Hernández
  • Mike Cravey
  • danielc
  • michael
  • Dan Phiffer
  • David Wright
  • Frank Chiachiere
  • Josh Clark
  • Gordon Kennedy
  • Hans van de Bruggen
  • Herb Zoota
  • Jason Rutherford
  • Jeremy Bell
  • Joe Cox
  • kathybabb
  • kellan
  • liangcw
  • mandy whaley
  • Mark R. Andrus
  • David Beaudouin
  • Christian Giordano
  • Patricia Marinho
  • Pelle Sten
  • Pessimist
  • Pete Hwang
  • Jason Lewis
  • Craig Saila
  • Shelley Cook
  • Sheryl Soo
  • Todd Budnikas
  • Tyson Evans
  • Ruthie BenDor
  • Eamonn Murphy

Coverage of this session

Sign in to add slides, notes or videos to this session

Sign in to track this session

Tell your friends!


Time 11:00am12:00pm CST

Date Sat 12th March 2011


Ballroom B, Austin Convention Center

Session type


Short URL


Official session page


View the schedule



See something wrong?

Report an issue with this session