The imagery vividness and preferences of older people: Implications for visualization in concept design

Kin Wai Michael Siu, Annie W.Y. Ng, Che Hin Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Within the user-centred design method, the effectiveness of the visual representation of concepts approach in eliciting user experiences and thoughts about products, systems and interfaces depends on the visualization skills of the user. However, the ability to visualize relies on the cognitive functions of the user, which are known to decline over the course of a lifetime. The study reported in this paper was aimed at exploring whether older people might encounter difficulties or fail to participate in concept design visualization. Vividness of visual imagery (VVI), object imagery preference (OI) and spatial imagery preference (SI) instruments were administered on thirty-one older participants. VVI was found to be the best predictor of participants' ease of visualization in concept design, followed by OI and then SI. The findings provide useful information for designers and facilitators when involving older people in the user-centred design method. It is recommended that a precursor assessment of the vividness with which older participants visualize images be conducted before the user-centred design process begins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-426
Number of pages14
JournalDesign Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011


  • Conceptual design
  • Design research
  • Older people
  • User-centred design
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


Dive into the research topics of 'The imagery vividness and preferences of older people: Implications for visualization in concept design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this