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Smartphones, Smart Seniors, But Not-So-Smart Apps: A Heuristic Evaluation Of Fitness Apps

P. Silva, Kelly Holden, Aska Nii
Published 2014 · Computer Science

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This paper reports on the results of a heuristic evaluation of Nike+ and RunKeeper, two of the most popular health and fitness mobile apps found in both Google Play and the iTunes stores for Android and iOS platforms respectively. Given the potential benefit of practicing physical exercise in living a healthier and longer life, this study aimed at understanding whether or not these apps are ready to accommodate the needs of older adult users. The study concludes that the inspected apps are not ready to accommodate older adults needs. Small target sizes, insufficient contrast and reduced font sizes, are some of the common violations found in the user interfaces; these are also impeditive of the use of the apps by this target user population. It is thus necessary to highlight these issues in order to eliminate the barrier of access to these apps by this population by also encouraging careful observation of design guidelines.
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