UI for Elderly

How do you do,

I have just set up Volumio for my dad (who is 70), and he is using an iPad to control it. I have some suggestions to improve the UI for the elderly:

(1) Font size (critical)
Ability to control font size for songs/artists/genres etc. 100%- 300%?
(1b) Possibly two different sizes: one for list view another for thumbnail view?

(2) Home/back icon size (important)
Needs to be 3 or 4 times as large for elderly use.

(3) Default view mode
Ability to control the default view mode in settings: List vs Thumbnails. I’m guessing thumbnails/pictures may work better long term. However the ability to override the default (currently List) in settings would be useful. (Also possibly move the display mode button to the right, away from the back/home button?)

(4) Default start screen.
Should be able to set the default screen to either: Genres, Artists, Browse menu etc…

(5) Genre Images
Is it possible to add images for a genre (for a thumbnail view)?
Doing so and having a thumbnail view will make it easier to select!
example: x86osx.com/bbs/data/knowhow/23u.png
Ideally the images should be manageable by the end-user for custom genres. (/genreimages folder?)
(Possibly add an online db to allow to choose from various default suggestions?)

(6) “Play” vs “options” button.
To play an entire Album / Artist / Genre you need to click on the small options pop-up button.
Adding a dedicated “play” or “play all” button will make it easier to start listening.
Need to assume a user should be able to use the application WITHOUT the options pop-up! (I know, tricky)

(7) Browse Page Options
To simply the application add settings to

  • hide browse options.
  • change the order

I think that’s it for now!

Quick Summary:
(1) Settings: Font size (critical)
(2) Settings: Home/back icon size (important)
(3) Settings: Default view mode (list vs thumbnails)
(4) Settings: Default start screen.
(5) Genre Images
(6) “Play” vs “options” button.
(7) Settings: Browse Page options

Note he loves it as it is already, but even with glasses, some if the changes above may make it easier to navigate.

And keep up the AMAZING work!!


I think this is a nice list of UI improvements that would benefit everyone, not only the elderly. BTW, I especially like point 6.


Not volumio but I did an XMBC-based HTPC install for people aged 70+ some years back and ended up manually editing the GUI XMLs to fit the needs in font size etc. It’s still in frequent use but lacks updates because the GUI obviously needs to remain exactly the same.

That install was all about music, so today’s choice would’ve been volumio…

Good for you asddsa, I’be been looking for an elderly friendly UI for movies/shows as well. Something to make it ridiculously easy for them to play their favorite movies and/or shows, with a very simple remote control. It is absurd how little thought is given to our parents and grandparents :frowning: Is your version public? Do you have screenshots etc?

Well I basically went with the XBMCbuntu standard ISO and the included Confluence skin, turned off display for all items in the main menu except music and videos (via options) and then did a few edits on the XMLs. I don’t have access to the files any time soon but they are very outdated anyway.

Using database setup and fixed paths is essential of course.

Since XBMCbuntu is dead, easy implementation comes down to openELEC or libreELEC which both use squashfs I think, so editing stuff might be a little more complicated. There’s plenty of guides available online though.

For remote control I’d suggest something like Logitech Harmony, configured for the whole setup (TV, AMP, PC) where the PC-side can be controlled with the Harmony through a FLIRC USB dongle.