What The Elderly Want in a Cell Phone

Any cellphone product development people in the audience? We’ve just done your job for you, invented a cell phone for the elderly.

Nowadays, the push is for downloadable ringtones, wall papers, songs, checking your email, packing as much functionality as possible into a cell phone. But Jill’s relative who works in a retirement home overheard a discussion amongst the elderly about what they want in a mobile device.

It’s not the music video for Back That Ass Up…

Jill writes:

    “They want only four functions: Call, Hang Up, Voicemail, 911. They want buttons that say EXACTLY: Call, HangUp, Voicemail, 911. They don’t want a security code for their voicemail because they can’t remember it. And they don’t care if someone else listens to their messages. They don’t want color screens – just big letters and numbers. They’d appreciate nonglare screens. They want bigger buttons that “click” to indicate they’ve hit it correctly. They don’t hear the “beeps” because their ears aren’t very good, but a “click” they can FEEL is what they requested.

    They most specifically said they don’t want menus, choices of ring tones, wallpaper, email, internet, call waiting or ANY choices other than what’s listed above. The confusion of too much technology scares them and makes them feel inadequate and stupid. (They’re pissed about that.)

    When I pointed out that any cell phone can be “programmed” to a simple way of operating, they laughed until they cried. “Hit one wrong button and you’re screwed!” said one old guy. They don’t want programming and in particular NO MENUS.

    As I said – Call, Hang Up, Voicemail, 911.”