Tablet learning experience for elderly

Are there ways to make learning curve less painful for them?(and us too)


After talking to my relatives and parents who are in 50s to 70s, most of them use tablet for:

  1. Camera for photo-taking and Gallery
  2. VoIP apps (Wechat, Whatsapp, Messenger, Line)
  3. Facebook
  4. Games
  5. Watch video or read news in browser/app

Inform what they want to know first

Tell them how to look for their favourite app among apps or quit the app. By telling them the features which they interested at that moment, it makes the learning curve less scarier and it builds up their confidence level.

Don’t overload them with information

Let them learn how to take photos, do they need to know about panorama? Do they need to learn how to take time lapse? Not at the moment, in the future probably.

Basic first, they will learn along the way if they are interested or have issues later.

It is best to keep their frustrations low. Try to spilt the teaching into different parts for next day.



Their learning curve is much easier if you have setup the shortcuts for them.

They don’t really need to know how does it happens, they just need to know to use them.

Bookmarked their favourite websites for them to access it quicker. Some of them don’t need apps grouping(in iOS) as it’s not visible to them, simpler clear app arrangement will do. Arrange the important one from top left to bottom right.


If you want them to find WhatsApp quickly when there’s a call, make some efforts to arrange the apps in a way that they can easily find it. When I spoke to one of my relatives who is in his 50s wanted to show me his favorite app, he spent sometime to find it as his apps are everywhere, same categories in different pages(swiped back and forth for it).


Of course, empathy is the KEY and it’s obvious that they might not get what you say the first or even the nth time. Imagine yourself trying out to cook a new dish.

Speak their language

“Click on the pause button to pause the video.”



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Amy Cheong

Amy Cheong

Current: Product Manager at Workmate • Always Software Engineer.