Two new standardisation initiatives supported by SPRING Singapore and the Singapore Standards Council (SSC) were launched on Thursday (23 March) to support active ageing with Singapore facing a rapidly ageing population.
The first initiative is the Silver Industry Standards Roadmap which charts the direction of standards development and implementation over the next three to five years to support the needs of the elderly, ensuring that infrastructure and services meet quality and safety requirements.
SPIRING stated that the first initiative is the Silver Industry Standards Roadmap which charts the direction of standards development and implementation over the next three to five years to support the needs of the elderly at an individual, community and national levels. he second initiative is the Singapore Standard SS 618 – Guidelines on user interface design for older adults, which provides guidance to designers of digital devices and online services, in designing user interfaces that are senior-friendly.
While, the second initiative is the Singapore Standard SS 618 – Guidelines on user interface design for older adults, which provides guidance to designers of digital devices and online services, in designing user interfaces that are senior-friendly.
These two initiatives were announced by Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Chairman of Government Parliamentary Committee for Communications and Information and Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency at the inaugural Silver Industry Standards eXchange.
The Roadmap is aligned to the Ministerial Committee on Ageing’s Action Plan for Successful Ageing as well as the Smart Nation initiative, to build Singapore into a City for All Ages where our elderly can age in an enabling and inclusive city, and lead active and engaging lives.
The Silver Industry Standards Roadmap is a framework based on four key elements of live, work, play and infrastructure development to support elderly needs. It was developed by SPRING Singapore and the Silver Industry Standards Committee (SISC) under the SSC, in consultation with multiple stakeholders comprising government agencies, associations, institutes of higher learning, and industry players.
Mr Robert Chew, Chairman, Silver Industry Standards Committee, said, "The Roadmap aims to use quality and standards as a strategic tool to address the challenges of an ageing population by ensuring that infrastructure and services meet quality and safety requirements. It also provides opportunities for businesses, giving them a first-mover advantage to access regional and international markets through the development of innovative products and services that are age-friendly and of assured quality."
Ms Choy Sauw Kook, Assistant Chief Executive, Quality & Excellence, SPRING Singapore, said, "Quality and standards will be a key pillar of Singapore's future economy. Under the Silver Industry Standards Roadmap, SPRING and the Singapore Standards Council will work with lead government agencies and industry partners to leverage standards to support industry transformation in the healthcare sector and the development of emerging products and services for older adults."
SPRING then pointed to SS 618, which will help application and service providers in designing user interfaces that will enhance usability and the user experience of older adults. For example, user interface components and navigation should be operationally realistic and easy for older adults to operate. The use of time-based content or interactions such as scrolling content or auto-updating
"The use of time-based content or interactions such as scrolling content or auto-updating content, should be minimised. If the time-based content or interaction is unavoidable, there should be options of adjusting or extending the time limits," SPRING said.
SS 618 was developed by a Working Group under the SPRING’s Standardisation Programme which comprised representatives from Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS, formerly SIM University), Council for Third Age, Central Provident Fund Board (CPF), DBS Bank, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GOVTech) and industry players.
The standard is based on a study conducted by a team of researchers at SUSS, jointly with Council for Third Age, on the usage of IT devices and online services among 700 Singaporeans between 55 and 75 years old.
Dr Calvin Chan, Convener of the Working Group for SS 618 and Director, Office of Graduate Studies, SUSS said, "Singapore is moving towards being a Smart Nation where the use of information and communication technology will be pervasive. Yet it is also among one of the fastest ageing nations in the world. SS 618 is developed against this backdrop with the strategic motivation to ensure that senior citizens in Singapore can remain active and independent as more products and services become digitised."
Ms Soh Swee Ping, Chief Executive Officer, Council for Third Age, said, "Council for Third Age has adopted SS 618 for our web portal. These senior-friendly features provide seniors of different information technology literacy levels with a positive, comfortable and enjoyable user experience. This ease of use, and in turn ease of learning, aims to encourage seniors to adopt technology and use it confidently so that they can continue learning and stay connected to society, as Singapore moves towards the Smart Nation vision."