Phone for the Elderly

Industrial design and GUI

Industrial design


Year / Duration

2003 / 5 weeks


There are some user groups who have found it difficult to adapt and get used to the use of new technological objects.  

One of the best examples of this situation is in the use of mobile devices. There are still many people who feel afraid of using these technological devices because they are not very easy to use due to very complex physical and digital interfaces.

Senior citizens

Elderly people are one group who can find it problematic to learn how to use new state-of-the-art technology products.

Nowadays, the usage of mobile devices by people over 60 years old has been increasing exponentially.


Concept development

The proposal is based on the developing and analysis of physical models, system flow charts and renderings.  


Position of thethe screen and controls, which conform the cellphone's physical interface.

Controls, semiotics and GUI

The way the phone is cotrolled is reduced to the most basic level in a rotational menu.

The use of the rotational control for navigating the interface, uses the metaphore of the old rotational control on the tape recorders, an object which is much more familiar for this group of users. 

The rotational control is made of a soft material: foamy plastic, in order to offer a better grip to the user and to reduce the effort when rotating it.



When the emergency button is pushed, it automatically dials up to the doctor. There is also a special button for calling a preset phone number of a user's relative. 

When the user passes his/her finger over the keyboard, the number appears on the screen before the user press it. This helps to identify what key the user is about to press.

Objectives of this project

The objectives the final proposal tried to achieve were the following:

> Have a easy to use and nderstand interface.

>Reduce functions of the phone to a basic level.

> Improve legibility.

> Multisensorial experience.

>Prioritize the elements, both physical and digital.

> Easy dialing.