A new article published in IEEE Access


Mobile and ubiquitous technologies represent a huge opportunity for an empowered inclusion of older adults in digital societies. Nevertheless, many of smart technologies demand high level of digital literacy and skills in order to become fully operational for the end-users. In order to study and design effective interventions aimed to increase the engagement of older adults with smart and mobile technologies, valid measurement tools for assessment of users’ skills are needed.

It is in this context that a new study of Andraž Petrovčič, Walter R. Boot, Tomaž Burnik, and Vesna Dolničar presents a validation of the Mobile Device Proficiency Questionnaire (MDPQ) – a survey scale developed by prof. dr. Boot (Florida State University) for self-assessment of eight dimensions of skills needed to operate mobile devices such as smartwatches, smartphones, and tablets –, on a sample of older smartphone users (aged 60+). The study suggests that the MDPQ is a valid scale if adequate modifications are applied to its items and dimensions that consider the specific characteristics of older smartphone users. In addition, the results demonstrate that MDPQ scores successfully predict participants’ outcomes of usability test sessions, providing evidence of acceptable criterion validity.

The study was supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) under Grant L5-9337, Grant J5-1785, and Grant P5-0399. ARRS also provided funds for the bilateral cooperation between the Centre for Social Informatics at the Faculty of Social Science and Department for Psychology at Florida State University (FSU) (Grant BI-US/18-19-051).

Previous research carried out by dr. Andraž Petrovčič, dr. Vesna Dolničar and their colleagues has extensively studied the role of mobile phones in older adults' life and their acceptance of smartphones, these publications include:

  • A. Petrovčič, S. Taipale, A. Rogelj, and V. Dolničar, “Design of mobile phones for older adults: An empirical analysis of design guidelines and checklists for feature phones and smartphones,” Int. J. Hum.–Comput. Interact., vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 251–264, 2018.
  • A. Petrovčič, S. Peek, and V. Dolničar, “Predictors of seniors’ interest in assistive applications on smartphones: Evidence from a population-based survey in Slovenia,” Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, vol. 16, no. 9, p. 1623, May 2019.
  • A. Petrovčič, M. Šetinc, T. Burnik, and V. Dolničar, “A comparison of the usability of a standard and an age-friendly smartphone launcher: Experimental evidence from usability testing with older adults,” Int. J. Rehabil. Res., vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 337–342, 2018.
  • A. Petrovčič, A. Rogelj, and V. Dolničar, “Smart but not adapted enough: Heuristic evaluation of smartphone launchers with an adapted interface and assistive technologies for older adults,” Comput. Hum. Behav., vol. 79, pp. 123–136, Feb. 2018.

Back to list of notificationsPublished: 08. November 2019 | Category: Publications