• Dr Montague smiling as he listens to a SiDE user pool member talking
  • Dr Stein describing the output of a computer vision program to a SiDE user pool member
  • Prof Vicki Hanson smiling as she talks to SiDE user pool members
  • Marianne Dee in conversation with a couple of SiDE user pool members
  • Sara Nevay answering questions from older adults

SiDE User Pool

Celebration of Contributions to Research

Around 90 older adults from across Scotland visited the School of Computing at the University of Dundee for a special event to celebrate their work helping researchers to develop more inclusive technologies.

The Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy (SiDE) User Pool, based in Dundee and including members across Scotland supported 30 academics to complete 50 research activities over the last five years. The User Pool is comprised of individuals who volunteered to help research into the digital exclusion of older adults and people with disabilities. 

The event on Saturday February 7th was organised to specifically acknowledge the significance of the contribution this population have made to the validity and the uniqueness of SiDE research outputs. Researchers were stationed around the venue displaying their work visually through posters and powerpoint presentations available to talk to the visitors as they came in. User Pool members chatted with researchers, learned about some of the many projects their contributions have helped to deliver and viewed a montage of photographs taken of their research engagements over the previous five years.

The BESiDE team had a booth which displayed a poster of findings from interviews with visitors to care homes as well as the results of the Co-design work including artifacts from their working methods, a poster and a power point presentation to encourage people to stop and chat with the researchers.The SiDE User Pool was used to recruit participants for both of these research activities.

Marianne Dee, SiDE-Dundee User Pool Manager, said, "We are really keen to persuade people about the importance and centrality of their contribution to these research studies. We can never begin to address the issue of exclusion from new technologies and all the benefits that brings, until we can better understand what people are doing when attempting to use technology and the strategies they use in real situations. Researchers traditionally find it difficult to include participants who are representative of the wider population and this large pool allowed us to remedy that for SiDE research studies."

Participants feedback on their experience of taking part in research activities seems to fit into two categories that of enjoying taking part in something that could be worthwhile for others in the future and feeling good about giving back.  Various comments included:

"Being asked to come and take part in an experiment really did give the idea of 'being included' even when retired."  

"A very interesting experience with a feeling of both helping research and other people."

"It feels good to be valued and to be of use as a retired person with disabilities."

"Enjoyable and stimulating. Felt welcome and valued."


Event Details
  • An Open day
Location Details
Queen Mother Building

Balfour Street
United Kingdom

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