20plus30 Launches Software to Assist Companies and Cities Adapt to Population Ageing

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Ageing results in changes to our senses, bodies and cognitive abilities. The AF Audit tool measures how well companies and cities respond to this challenge.


Few companies have evaluated their customer touchpoints to ensure they are age friendly

Most products and services are still designed by the young, for the young at a time when the world is ageing faster than at anytime in history. The implications for cities, business and healthcare are dramatic.

While writing their book, Marketing to the Ageing Consumer, Kim Walker and Dick Stroud, researched this issue with ageing experts from academia, government, healthcare and industry. They identified the need for a measurable process that could evaluate any environment from the perspective of older people.

“The physical, sensory and cognitive differences between generations amplify from around 50 years of age,” says Stroud. This demands that almost every interaction must be re-evaluated and adapted in response to these physiological differences. This is critical to creating an ‘age-friendly’ world. Walker explains “It’s business common sense to ensure that adults of all ages can easily engage with you”.

Walker and Stroud codified 25 ways that ageing impairs the senses, body and mind. These ‘effects of ageing’ are applied when evaluating the interaction or touchpoint that a person has with a particular environment.

This thinking is incorporated into an iPad app that scores each touchpoint, providing a rigorous method to identify the preparedness of a city, company or any environment in adapting to the effects of ageing.

The AF Tool can be applied across all parts of an organisation.

Free versions of AF Brands and AF Cities iPad app are available on iTunes. The AF Cities app uses an adapted form of the questions developed by the World Health Organisations Age-Friendly Cities initiative.

Prototypes of the tool have been used to evaluate over 50 customer journeys for businesses in the telecoms, financial services and hospitality industries.

For the first time, companies can evaluate all the physical and digital touchpoints with their customers.

The tool provides a common language and metrics that can be used to improve all aspects of older people’s lives.

Stroud and Walker are working with functional experts to apply the tool to places where older people work, live and receive healthcare.

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Dick Stroud
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since: 04/2007
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