It is a challenge to the elderly to manoeuvre in today’s ICT society, where the command of technology plays an increasing role at all levels. On the one hand, age-related impairments may infl uence the ability of the elderly to familiarize with new technology. On the other hand, technological products and manuals are designed primarily for the younger age groups. Studies show that elderly persons fi nd it diffi cult to understand manuals. Whereas international research exists in the fi eld of manuals for the elderly, there is no corresponding research in Denmark. Also, there are only few Danish manuals specifi cally aimed at the elderly. The purpose of the present contribution is to discuss, on the basis of general recommendations in the literature on user manuals for the elderly, to what extent controlled language rules can improve such manuals. The general purpose of a controlled language is to make technical texts, including user manuals, easier to understand by reducing ambiguity and complexity through restrictions on lexicon, grammar and style. This investigation is part of a research project titled: Development of methods for the design of technical manuals for elderly people. In a later project phase, different versions of user manuals will be tested and evaluated by users within the target group.
Teknisk kommunikation; Brugervejledninger; Ældre brugere; Controlled language