Faculty Talk: Robin Brewer

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad

A positive aging approach to designing for late-life online engagement


Older adults’ voices and online identities resonate against a backdrop of normative views of aging, in which aging is a form of decline plagued by impairment and social isolation. Rather than designing for disability and decline in older adulthood, shifting the focus towards designing for late-life development may help prevent reinforcement of these stereotypes and begin to empower the individuals we aim to engage with the new systems we introduce. In this talk, I use a positive aging framework to rethink how to design, develop, and study systems to support older adults who seek to participate in meaningful engagement online. Specifically, I will focus on the use of accessible voice interfaces, highlighting how my work opens new social and technical challenges when supporting aging populations and people with vision impairments. 

Speaker Bio

Robin Brewer is a Presidential Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan in the School of Information. Her research in Human-Computer Interaction lies at the intersection of accessibility and social computing. Dr. Brewer’s research has been funded by NSF, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Google, Adobe, and the Segal Design Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Technology and Social Behavior from Northwestern University, M.S. in Human-Centered Computing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has completed user experience research internships at Microsoft Research, Facebook, and IBM Research.