Microwave Oven Concept Design for Older Adults
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Microwave ovens can be used to perform varied cooking and food preparation related tasks with greater efficiency and convenience than traditional cooktops and ovens. Microwave ovens have been highly adopted by older adults in the past 40 years, especially those living in small spaces such as retirement communities. As industry develops microwave ovens with more and advanced functions, it poses a challenging usability factor for older adults in regards to complexity of use. Furthermore, older adult’s abilities may decline with age, adding an additional factor for operating microwaves. The purpose of the project is to not only understand older adult’s current usability factors of microwave ovens, but also develop an improved microwave oven design for older adults. This project will discuss research results including surveys, space assessment, market reviews and usability testing of microwave ovens as well as the process for designing microwave ovens for older adults living in retirement communities. The significance of this project is to design products that are better suited for older adults’ needs in relationship of adoption and usability of everyday technologies.