Ethnography in action! Investigating the experience of silver shoppers

De Montfort University Open Research Archive

Show simple item record Pei, Eujin en 2012-06-08T08:11:23Z 2012-06-08T08:11:23Z 2012-03-07
dc.identifier.citation Pei, E. (2012) Ethnography in Action! Investigating the Experience of Silver Shoppers. IDR Inclusive Design Research Newsletter, 7 March 2012 issue 29 en
dc.description.abstract Ageing has been closely linked to loss of agility and strength that makes shopping a challenge for senior citizens. The pilot study investigated current difficulties associated with food shopping among consumers above 65 years old in the United Kingdom. The authors argued that questionnaire surveys may provide unreliable results due to memory loss; and proposed direct observations to record natural behaviour in a non-intrusive way. Subsequently, the findings were confirmed through face-to-face interviews. For this study, 14 senior citizens were invited as participants and each visited 2 different retailers. From this study, the key difficulties include poor access to products where items were placed too high (67%); portions of food that were too large (54%); items placed too low (38%); and poor signage (33%). The problem of reaching high and low shelves is not unique to senior shoppers in the United Kingdom and is in line among older consumers in other developed countries. The size of packaging or multi-purchase products is a major concern where senior citizens find it difficult to transport large and heavy products and the big portions would be substantial for them. Another major difficulty concerns store layout where signage was a key issue as the elderly are more prone to eye ailments and poor posture. It was found that ceiling mounted signs were less effective, leaving elderly shoppers feeling disorientated when navigating around the store. At the end of the data collection, two focus groups in a moderated setting was arranged to elicit further feedback from the participants and retail representatives. A product designer was also invited to offer possible solutions to those problems. The results from this study have several significant implications. This study has built greater awareness and provided a more focused area of research of the elderly shopper in the United Kingdom, allowing for inclusive design to take place. The use of observations and interviews has provided a more accurate, comprehensive and objective representation of the study. By combining a qualitative and quantitative approach, the result is a study that has greater rigour and richness. en
dc.description.sponsorship This study was funded by a cross-faculty grant from the University of Southampton’s Annual Adventures in Research. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Inclusive Design Research Group, Brunel University en
dc.subject ageing en
dc.subject elderly shoppers en
dc.subject retail experience en
dc.subject experience research en
dc.title Ethnography in action! Investigating the experience of silver shoppers en
dc.type Technical Report en
dc.researchgroup Interactive and Media Technologies
dc.researchgroup Digital Building Heritage Group
dc.peerreviewed No en

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