Work       Writing       About


Type: mobile app design
Project Duration: 8 weeks (01.2022 - 03.2022)
Role: Design Strategist


This is a mobile app dedicated to tackle the social isolation of elders. Our team designed an engaging Q&A platform enabling intergenerational conversations that enhance the social participation of elders and help our communities better understand each other.


Many older adults are socially isolated due to the limited social support.

While the elderly population is rapidly increasing around the globe, the supports for elders are extremely scarce or unavailable which left our elders alone in our communities. What are true needs of elders that our society is currently missing?
Possible Solution

Intergenerational conversations will enhance the independent social participation of elders and improve social awareness on aging.

Our elders want a independent social participation that motivates and excites them to interact. When elders join intergenerational conversations with younger generations, they tend to share their knowledge to help youngers and gain emotional fulfillment and self-satisfaction from it. Furthermore, encouraging intergenerational discussion will help both elders and youngers value each others’ companionship with empathy.


Background Research

For background research, secondary research was conducted with a constructive literature review system.
Around 50 data were reviewed and the analysis was conducted on 12 main sources with 4 main themes(aging, social isolation, independence, and ageism).
Current Situation

1/4 of elderly population over 50 years old are currently suffering from social isolation.

World is entering super-aged society: Every country in the world is experiencing growth in both the size and the proportion of older persons in the population. By 2030, 1 in 6 people in the world will be aged 60 years or over (WHO, 2021).

But more adults are socially isolated: The data portary that the older a person is, the more likely they have smaller networks, fewer primary network members, and more distant relationship ties (Cornwell, Laumann, Schumm, 2008)
. However, the current social system doesn’t provide enough support.

Elders’ Needs from Previous Interviews

Social interactions, especially with younger people, excites older adults. But independent participation is key in those interactions.

The gap between social support and elders’ needs is from the lack of independence and ageism: The current social support system expects the passive role of older adults due to their agiest assumptions of regarding elders as frail and dependent. However, independent was what elders most wanted in their social activities. Therefore, the current social system could not fulfill elders’ needs in social participation and fail to encourage active and continuous social interactions of elders.

Voice from interviewees:
  • “It’s hard to live along, but I go out, I share in different occasions, social participation is a good motivator for us as we growing old.” (Sally, 65y)
  • “I’m taking care of myself, my health is good, I need to stay healthy and mentally oriented, so I won’t seek anybody’s help and still enjoy my life.” (Michelle, 65y)

Competitive Analysis

1. Elder-friendly services have no space for intergenerational conversation

2. Q&A platform as a great format for intergenerational conversation

3. Information overload is an issue

There are a few competitors for elders’ social participation and they are mostly through elderly volunteering. However, the process was complicated with lots of information and was not accessible to all older adults, especially many of elders have physical illnesses. Q&A platforms often create easy social participation of elders through intergenerational conversation but still, information overload was an issue.

Key Insights
After thematic analysis on the data collected from research process, we came up with three major insights.

© Sejin Hwang