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The main aim of this research article is to investigate the usage of the mobile phones by the people aged over 60 years and above and also this paper investigates the characteristics of ageing friendly mobile phones. The research questions are mainly discussed by conducting the qualitative and the quantitative analysis methods. It mainly used two types of data gathering methods they are focus group discussions and the online questionnaires. It conducted two types of quantitative analysis methods such as the Delphi interviews and focus group discussions. The results from the Delphi interviews are used as a base for the focus group discussions and the results from both the Delphi interviews and the focus group discussions are used for preparing online questionnaire. The problems the older people have with the mobile phone is evident form the published study of Iric et al., 2005 which states that 'The physical disabilities are well accommodated but the problems older people have with the reduced cognition are not referred'.
Field of interest the research question comes from
The main filed of interest that the above research question is implied is from the observation of various level of percentage that the different age groups use the mobile phone for. The results from the National Stats, 2003 show that the mobile is mostly used by the young people that the older people. The researcher raises the questions from the statistics to find the problems with the usage of the mobile phones by the older people. According to the review of the NTT DoCoMo, 2001 there are various problems with the usage of the mobile phones by the older people such as the display being too small, too many functions in a phone and many more. From this the researcher raises the question of the characteristics of the ageing friendly mobile phones.
The research questions are answered by conducting the different types of research methods such as the focus group discussions and the questionnaires. The article implies that the main reason for the decrease in usage of mobile phones by older people is the lack of understanding among the mobile phone designers about the complex nature of the mobile phones explicated by older people.
The past studies on the mobile phones conducted by BBC News, 2004 have implied that 'The older people are outspoken in specifying the functions they feel should be implemented on the mobile phones are mainly the easy to use speech control and health monitoring'. In spite of the huge growth and the social dispersion the studies that are conducted for accepting the mobile phones by the older people is relatively very less. Even though the younger people are more active users of the mobile phones but in the last few years the usage of the mobile phones by the older people is also increasing rapidly. The recent survey that is conducted in Italy implies that the 58.5% of the people aged between 65 and 74 and 26.6% of the people aged above 75 used the mobile phones the growth in this age group is very high when compared to the other age groups according to Igbaria, M. According to Oksman, V. 2006, 'The older people mainly use the mobile phones for safety and the security reasons and it also has the positive impact on the self-image and personal independence'.
Ling and Haddon, 2002 states that there are several motives for the acceptance of the mobile phones by the older people such as display characteristics, acceptance of information, security and safety that is very important in the case of the older people. Ziefle and Bay advised that the mobile phone used by the older people doesn't have a hierarchical menu system mental model. The older people have the difficulty of finding the features they like to use and hence they eventually do not use them. It is evident from the studies conducted by Osman et al which surveyed the elderly mobile phone users and the 'easy menus' was mentioned by most of the users and the other factor that the most older mobile phone users are concerned is the requirement of the large buttons.
In the article the researcher classifies the different mobile phone users according to the age but inevitably it is a clear mistake to classify the users according to the age since Mallenius et al. argues that the user are classified according to the functional capability such as the social, physical and psychological aspects despite of the age as a facilitating factor.
Research Methods Tools and Techniques
In the selected research article the research approach that is employed is the deductive type of research approach as it follows the more general approach to the more specific approach. There are two types of research methods that are employed in this article they are the qualitative method that contains focus group discussions and Delphi interviews and quantitative research method is also employed by conducting the online questionnaire. In the research article initially Delphi interviews are conducted by referring to two experts one for answering the technical oriented questions and the other to answer the questions related to the experience as an older mobile phone user. The results from the Delphi interviews are used to conduct the focus group discussions and there are two groups that are recruited from through flyers. The first group consists of seven older women who are students of college of third age and the second group consists of seven older women who are members of the Manchester Bridge club. The issues which are raised in the Delphi interviews and the focus group discussions are used to design a set of questions for the online survey. The people who are aged above 60 and possessing a mobile phone before are only eligible for answering the online questionnaire.
The type of sampling method that is being used in this article is the non-probability sampling method because the population is being divided into different groups. In the course of collecting the data both the research methods are being combined. The accurate size of the population is not mentioned in this research article. The qualitative data analysis is conducted by performing three steps they are initially choosing the number of respondents and the second step is evaluation of the annoyance and the concern aspect and the final step is the study that counts the number of occurrence in the questionnaire database and applying the identical weighting to those occurrences. The various research methods are used effectively in the research article excluding the online questionnaire since the older people have the very less knowledge of the usage of the internet and answering the question online it is better if we can conduct the survey by talking to different people and collecting the relevant data.
Advantages of research methods
The author conducts both the qualitative and the quantitative type of research methods and the main advantages of this method are
It is efficient and effective research method and with the help of Delphi interviews the researcher implies that the main characteristics that we can provide for older people are the reminder, alarm and the address book.
The older people mainly use the mobile phones in the case of emergency rather than for casual talking.
Disadvantages of these methods
There are certain disadvantages with the research method used in the article are
The focus group discussions are pretty expensive and time consuming compared to other research methods
The group discussions are frequently held in an unnatural setting and there is always a doubt in the accuracy of the participants response
Research Process and Outcome
The research process in the article used Delphi interviews which are the initial study in the issues of ageing and technology. The Delphi interviews are mainly focused on the technology as a point of view. The focus group discussions are very successful in gaining an understanding of how the older people use the mobile phone. They were also able to assess the basic requirements of the mobile phones prior to the design and explains the gender differences in the design process. The online questionnaire succeeded only to a certain extent since the participants were mostly women.
The researcher tries to conclude the research by answering the research questions such as the issues older people have with mobile phones such as design related to the mobile phone, the fear of consequence of usage. The characteristics of ageing friendly mobile phones the researcher found are memory aids, haptic aids and visual aids.
In accordance with the Taylor and Harper, 2002 the teenagers produced a much more advanced wish list when compared to the adults. There are certain limitations in the study initially the lack of certain prototype in the design of the mobile phones, the research focused only on the existing mobile phone users and also the generalization of this study followed their own methods.
In my opinion the research work is the better way to understand the literature of a particular topic and also to understand the literature used in the particular research. The article I have chosen is a general topic and even though it is not useful for the assignment 2 the research methods that are followed in this assignment can be very useful for doing my further research works