Skeuomorphic reassurance: Personhood and dementia

David Kreps, Oliver K. Burmeister, Jessica Blaynee

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


User interface design needs to be revisited for people with dementia. This paper introduces 'skeuomorphic reassurance' as a guiding principle for human interfaces in technological design, particularly for older people and people with dementia (PwD). Skeuomorphs exhibit decorative design elements reminiscent of 'parent' objects that incorporated such design elements because they were structurally integral.
The philosophy of personhood is discussed in the context of dementia, concluding that the subjective character of conscious mental processes is an irreducible feature of reality, and the persistence of personhood in PwD supports this assertion.
Assistive technologies that aid carers, as well as PwD, need to ensure that skeuomorphic reassurance is incorporated in their design, not least because older people and PwD need recognisable interfaces today, but because the problems today's over-65s have with digital technologies may not go away, but re-present themselves generation after generation, unless skeuomorphic reassurance is built into their design
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTechnology and intimacy : hoice or coercion
Subtitle of host publication12th IFIP TC 9 International conference on human choice and computers, HCC12 2016
EditorsDavid Kreps, Gordon Fletcher, Marie Griffiths
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783319448053
ISBN (Print)9783319448046
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event12th IFIP TC 9 International Conference on Human Choice and Computers: HCC12 2016 - MediaCityUK, University of Salford, Salford, United Kingdom
Duration: 07 Sept 201609 Sept 2016 (Conference website)


Conference12th IFIP TC 9 International Conference on Human Choice and Computers
Abbreviated titleTechnology and intimacy: Choice or coercion?
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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