Shared family calendars: Promoting symmetry and accessibility

TitleShared family calendars: Promoting symmetry and accessibility
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsPlaisant C, Clamage A, Hutchinson H B, Bederson BB, Druin A
JournalACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact.
Pagination313 - 346
Date Published2006/09//
ISBN Number1073-0516
Keywordscalendar, digital paper, elderly, family technology, Home, layered interface, privacy, universal usability

We describe the design and use of a system facilitating the sharing of calendar information between remotely located, multi-generational family members. Most previous work in this area involves software enabling younger family members to monitor their parents. We have found, however, that older adults are equally if not more interested in the activities of younger family members. The major obstacle preventing them from participating in information sharing is the technology itself. Therefore, we developed a multi-layered interface approach that offers simple interaction to older users. In our system, users can choose to enter information into a computerized calendar or write it by hand on digital paper calendars. All of the information is automatically shared among everyone in the distributed family. By making the interface more accessible to older users, we promote symmetrical sharing of information among both older and younger family members. We present our participatory design process, describe the user interface, and report on an exploratory field study in three households of an extended family.