Study on the WeChat to improve user experience for Chinese older adults

Hu, Nan
Major Professor
Sunghyun R Kang
Committee Member
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Graphic Design
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Graphic Design

As a consequence of the one-child policy, the older adult population in China—defined as 55 years and older—has been growing geometrically over the past few decades. Meanwhile, urban expansion-part of China's modernization-gave rise to a situation in which young adults migrate to major cities, further stratifying the social structure in China and isolating older adult communities.

With 620 million active users, WeChat is the most popular all-in-one social media app on smartphones in China. It has been increasingly adopted by older adult users to cope with the challenge of loneliness and unhappiness due to social changes. However, the interface design of the WeChat app appeals to active young adult users, making it challenging for older adult users and leaving them confused when they use the app, due to their decreased cognitive and physical performance as they age.

The purpose of this study is to improve the WeChat user experience for Chinese older adults. A quantitative research method with an IRB-approved survey was conducted to collect the quantitative data concerning the older adult user experience of WeChat. A series of vigorous data analyses were implemented using Statistic Package for Social Science (SPSS), a comprehensive statistical tool largely used in social sciences, marketing, healthcare, and more to extract information and knowledge in a data mining process.

The findings revealed in the data analysis were further utilized to guide the design process to improve the user experience of WeChat, making the app much easier for older adults to use daily.