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Windows XP Interface for older people

Posted on 2004-05-01
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Hello

Is anyone aware of applications that create a new Windows XP interface or GUI for older people who may not be comfortable with the traditional Windows XP interface? The application needs to work with Touch-Screens.

Thanks,

Soren


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Question by:speder
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:timothyfryer
ID: 10966553
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Assisted Solution

by:aquachem220
aquachem220 earned 75 total points
ID: 10966659
If the new interface, like the trimmed desktop (hence only recycle bin) and expanded start menu, seem to be the source of the issue, you can alter the settings as well look (from the azul blue one), to be more "windows classic" like.  In itself windows XP has utilities to help disabled or aging individuals out.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/evaluation/overviews/accessibility.asp
http://www.microsoft.com/enable/at/types.aspx
(excerpt below)

" On-screen keyboard programs provide an image of a standard or modified keyboard on the computer screen. The user selects the keys with a mouse, touch screen, trackball, joystick, switch, or electronic pointing device. On-screen keyboards often have a scanning option. With the scanning capability turned on, the individual keys on the on-screen keyboard are highlighted. When a desired key is high-lighted, an individual with a mobility impairment is able to select it by using a switch positioned near a body part that is under his or her voluntary control. "

So the touch screen solution is capable by default with XP.  To adjust the windows settings to the more "classic look" try these steps.

1.) Right click on the desktop, go to "properties" and click on it.
     This will bring up the display properties dialog box, select the "appearance" tab (topmost and 2nd to the last tab).
     Having done this, chose the drop down menu under "windows and buttons" and choose the "windows classic style".
     Click the "ok" button and that is finished.

     This will revert windows appearance to the traditional windows 9x look.

2.) Right click on the "start" button on the desktop. (This is the start menu button, located lower left corner).
     Go to "properties" and click on it, this will bring up the "Taskbar and start menu properties" dialog box.
     You'll see two options, under the pre-selected "start menu" tab.  Start Menu / Classic Start menu.
     By default XP has Start menu selected.  You'll want to select the "classic start menu".
     Click the "ok" button and that is finished.

     This will make the desktop, more 9x like and bring back the "network neighborhood, my documents, my computer, etc" icons.
     It will also revert the start menu, to the traditional windows 9x look, which is the single column one, not expanded.

3.) To finalize, you can continue on to the control panel, and choose the "switch to classic view" setting, located upper left.
     
     This will make the control panel, appear in the traditional windows 9x theme.

With those steps implemented, your windows XP will have a 95/98/2k look, which might me more familar to the user who would
be using it.  The touch screen capability of XP, would be passed on to the changed look as well :)

I hope this helps you out, best of luck!

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Author Comment

by:speder
ID: 10966674
Sorry for not being very clear.

I actually saw a solution on the television recently with a very nice touch screen front panel where the users could "click" on menus like photos, e-mails, websites, etc. When they clicked on eg. e-mails they got a speciel edition (or whatever it was) of Outlook with only the most necessary buttons and large font sizes. It was extremely user friendly and great for people with no computer experience.

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Expert Comment

by:timothyfryer
ID: 11003552
thanks for the points-if you need more specific info for touchscreens, I can look some more-I just wish they had the kind of software you are looking for as a normal course of business.  Programmers seem to be infatuated with having way too many buttons and not enough common sense descriptions.  Thanks again.
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Author Comment

by:speder
ID: 11003582
You're absolutely right. It's very difficult to find actual products in this marked space. I went through all the links and it gave me some basic ideas on what to do next. However, the software that I saw on the television (in a program about getting older people on the Internet) - or something similar - is nowhere to be found.
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Expert Comment

by:timothyfryer
ID: 11003620
What exactly did the software do?  You mentioned email earlier, was that one of the features.  There are some internet devices besides computers that presumbably use a simplified screen to surf the web.  The more details you can give me, the better able I can zero in on what you need.  Do you already have the xp computer you referred to earlier, or are you open to other types of hardware.  My previous post assumed a vision deficit as that is the most common in the general population, regardless of age.  If you want simpler interface, I'll give it another shot but need to know if you want software that will run on xp with touchscreen or are you looking at other possibilities as well.  Most of the touchscreen apps seem to be oriented towards the for profit point of sale hardware out there.  So it's difficult to find something specifically designed for the home user.  There's more money to be made in designing touchscreen software for banks, and shopping malls, and casinos.  Thanks.
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