Determinants of user acceptance of a specific social platform for older adults: An empirical examination of user interface characteristics and behavioral intention.

PLoS ONE. 2017;12(8):e0180102 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0180102


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Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Tsai-Hsuan Tsai
Hsien-Tsung Chang
Yan-Jiun Chen
Yung-Sheng Chang


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Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The use of the Internet and social applications has many benefits for the elderly, but numerous investigations have shown that the elderly do not perceive online social networks as a friendly social environment. Therefore, TreeIt, a social application specifically designed for the elderly, was developed for this study. In the TreeIt application, seven mechanisms promoting social interaction were designed to allow older adults to use social networking sites (SNSs) to increase social connection, maintain the intensity of social connections and strengthen social experience. This study's main objective was to investigate how user interface design affects older people's intention and attitude related to using SNSs. Fourteen user interface evaluation heuristics proposed by Zhang et al. were adopted as the criteria to assess user interface usability and further grouped into three categories: system support, user interface design and navigation. The technology acceptance model was adopted to assess older people's intention and attitude related to using SNSs. One hundred and one elderly persons were enrolled in this study as subjects, and the results showed that all of the hypotheses proposed in this study were valid: system support and perceived usefulness had a significant effect on behavioral intention; user interface design and perceived ease of use were positively correlated with perceived usefulness; and navigation exerted an influence on perceived ease of use. The results of this study are valuable for the future development of social applications for the elderly.