This article introduces a new forum for Interactions Magazine on users
at the extremes of life. Articles in this forum will investigate the
relationship between children, teenagers, and older adults, with
technologies they interact with - from screen-based worlds, to
tangible/ubiquitous computing. These interactions may take place at
home, in school, at work, or in public places. What will be a critical
part of this forum, no matter what the subject matter will be the
respect we need to have for users of any age, life experience, with
diverse dreams and needs. I introduce this forum topic by discussing my
own father's use (and non-use) of a wireless mouse and how some of his
challenges compare to those of young users.
The HCIL has a long, rich history of transforming the experience people have with new technologies. From understanding user needs, to developing and evaluating these technologies, the lab's faculty, staff, and students have been leading the way in HCI research and teaching.