Book: Designing for Older Adults, 2nd edition

Things are quiet on the blog because Anne and I are recovering from the end of the Spring semester and we are furiously finishing our book (tentatively titled, “Designing Displays for Older Adults‘).  It will be one in a series of books in the Human Factors & Aging Series from CRC Press that will be “primers on designing for older adults.”  More details on our book later including a give-a-way!

9781420080551The first book in the Series is the second edition of Designing for Older Adults:  Principles and Creative Human Factors Approaches by Arthur Fisk, Wendy Rogers, Neil Charness, Sara Czaja, and Joseph Sharit.  The book is written in an accessible style and provides guidelines on a wide variety of topics relevant to anyone designing products or systems for use by older adults.

To read a few pages and purchase the book, visit

Acoustic Information from Basketball Courts


I came across an article on ANSI standards that had an interesting human factors anecdote. Thought I would share:

It seems that a critical part any basketball game is the wood flooring, something which the fans generally take for granted, but not so the players. Basketball floors are highly engineered surfaces, made of three-quarter inch thick tongue-and-groove northern hard maple, laid on plywood and supported by sleepers. One manufacturer of the flooring, Robbins Sport Surfaces of Cincinnati, Ohio, even sells a floor that controls its acoustics so the sound of a bouncing ball is more uniform across the surface. A variation in the sound of the bounce could lead players to incorrectly assume there is a dead spot while running down the court for that winning lay up.

Are there other examples of surprising information sources in sports?

Accidental Activation Activates Fighter Jet Escort


Apparently there is a particular communication channel airlines use when they have been hijacked. This afternoon, an American Airlines flight was escorted by fighter jets to Miami when the channel was set on a flight from Puerto Rico.

This interface error sounds expensive. Can we assume the flight crew did not know they were using this frequency?

Map Information Visualizations = HOT!

I‘ve noticed a trend in the newsworld/blogworld recently. Everyone wants to represent everything on a map. Some of these are genius, others make me wonder “why bother?” I collected some of each for this post… but I warn you, once you notice this pattern you’ll start seeing it multiple times per day.

Job loss from (Usability note: good luck mousing-over your county)


Race in an area compared to toxic waste release from the


Electricity Visualized from (This link has many map options. Wind power pictured below.)


Immigrant Populations from the New York Times (Also an “explorer” graphic with interactivity)


Religion in the United States via the Wall Street Journal


That’s just a taste. Also see:

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