Value-based design for the elderly: An application in the field of mobility aids

Simone T. Boerema*, Lex van Velsen, Miriam M.R. Vollenbroek-Hutten, Hermie J. Hermens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
535 Downloads (Pure)


In the aging society, the need for the elderly to remain mobile and independent is higher than ever. However, many aids supporting mobility often fail to target real needs and lack acceptance. The aim of this study is to demonstrate how value-based design can contribute to the design of mobility aids that address real needs and thus, lead to high acceptance. We elicited values, facilitators, and barriers of mobility of older adults via ten in-depth interviews. Next, we held co-creation sessions, resulting in several designs of innovative mobility aids, which were evaluated for acceptance via nine in-depth interviews. The interviews resulted in a myriad of key values, such as “independence from family‿ and “doing their own groceries.‿ Design sessions resulted in three designs for a wheeled walker. Their acceptance was rather low. Current mobility device users were more eager to accept the designs than non-users. The value-based approach offers designers a close look into the lives of the elderly, thereby opening up a wide range of innovation possibilities that better fit their actual needs. Product service systems seem to be a promising focus for targeting human needs in mobility device design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-84
Number of pages9
JournalAssistive technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2016


  • Assessment
  • Mind maps
  • Mobility
  • Older adults
  • Values
  • Wheeled mobility aids
  • Acceptance
  • Usefulness
  • 2023 OA procedure


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