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Launch of Two Silver Industry Standardisation Initiatives to Support Active Ageing

  • Date
    23 Mar 2017
  • In This Story
  • Reference Number NR/05/2017

The Silver Industry Standards Roadmap and Guidelines on user interface design for older adults aim to promote an age-inclusive society

  1.  With Singapore facing a rapidly ageing population, two new standardisation initiatives supported by SPRING Singapore and the Singapore Standards Council (SSC) were launched today to support active ageing. The first initiative is the Silver Industry Standards Roadmap which charts the direction of standards development and implementation over the next three to five years to support the needs of the elderly at individual, community and national levels. The second initiative is the Singapore Standard SS 618 – Guidelines on user interface design for older adults, which provides guidance to designers of digital devices and online services, in designing user interfaces that are senior-friendly.

  2. These two initiatives were announced by Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Chairman of Government Parliamentary Committee for Communications and Information and Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency at the inaugural Silver Industry Standards eXchange. The Roadmap is aligned to the Ministerial Committee on Ageing’s Action Plan for Successful Ageing as well as the Smart Nation initiative, to build Singapore into a City for All Ages where our elderly can age in an enabling and inclusive city, and lead active and engaging lives.

    Silver Industry Standards Roadmap

  3. The Silver Industry Standards Roadmap is a framework based on four key elements of live, work, play and infrastructure development to support elderly needs. It was developed by SPRING Singapore and the Silver Industry Standards Committee (SISC) under the SSC, in consultation with multiple stakeholders comprising government agencies, associations, institutes of higher learning, and industry players.

    (a) Live – to enable the elderly to live a quality life and age-in-place in their home independently and safely;
    (b) Work – to foster an an-age friendly and inclusive inter-generational working environment;
    (c) Play – to encourage the elderly to lead an active ageing lifestyle; and
    (d) Infrastructure – to enhance accessibility through suitable infrastructural design within the community and home, and enable pervasive use of digital solutions among the elderly.

  4. “The Roadmap aims to use quality and standards as a strategic tool to address the challenges of an ageing population by ensuring that infrastructure and services meet quality and safety requirements. It also provides opportunities for businesses, giving them a first-mover advantage to access regional and international markets through the development of innovative products and services that are age-friendly and of assured quality,” said Mr Robert Chew, Chairman, Silver Industry Standards Committee.

  5. "Quality and standards will be a key pillar of Singapore's future economy. Under the Silver Industry Standards Roadmap, SPRING and the Singapore Standards Council will work with lead government agencies and industry partners to leverage standards to support industry transformation in the healthcare sector and the development of emerging products and services for older adults,” said Ms Choy Sauw Kook, Assistant Chief Executive, Quality & Excellence, SPRING Singapore. Some of these standards include guidelines to standardise key terms used by the intermediate-and-long term care sector1, and design guidelines for public spaces.

    SS 618 – Guidelines on User Interface Design for Older Adults

  6. As Singapore pursues our vision to be a Smart Nation, it is important that we develop age-friendly digital products and services. SS 618 will help application and service providers in designing user interfaces that will enhance usability and the user experience of older adults. For example, user interface components and navigation should be operationally realistic and easy for older adults to operate. The use of time-based content or interactions such as scrolling content or auto-updating content, should be minimised. If the time-based content or interaction is unavoidable, there should be options of adjusting or extending the time limits.

  7. SS 618 was developed by a Working Group under the SPRING’s Standardisation Programme which comprised representatives from Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS, formerly SIM University), Council for Third Age, Central Provident Fund Board (CPF), DBS Bank, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GOVTech) and industry players. The standard is based on a study conducted by a team of researchers at SUSS, jointly with Council for Third Age, on the usage of IT devices and online services among 700 Singaporeans between 55 and 75 years old. (Refer to the fact sheet for more information on SS 618)

  8. Dr Calvin Chan, Convener of the Working Group for SS 618 and Director, Office of Graduate Studies, SUSS said, “Singapore is moving towards being a Smart Nation where the use of information and communication technology will be pervasive. Yet it is also among one of the fastest ageing nations in the world. SS 618 is developed against this backdrop with the strategic motivation to ensure that senior citizens in Singapore can remain active and independent as more products and services become digitised.”

  9. “Council for Third Age has adopted SS 618 for our web portal. These senior-friendly features provide seniors of different information technology literacy levels with a positive, comfortable and enjoyable user experience. This ease of use, and in turn ease of learning, aims to encourage seniors to adopt technology and use it confidently so that they can continue learning and stay connected to society, as Singapore moves towards the Smart Nation vision,” said Ms Soh Swee Ping, Chief Executive Officer, Council for Third Age.

  10. Moving forward, the Working Group for SS 618 will be focusing on the development of guidelines specific to the user interface design for mobile platforms.

    Click here to download - Media Factsheet on Silver Industry Roadmap and SS 618 Launch

1Intermediate-and-long term care (ILTC) services are typically required for persons who need further care and treatment after being discharged from an acute hospital as well as community-dwelling seniors who may be frail and need supervision or assistance with their activities of daily living.

About the Singapore Standards Council

The industry-led Singapore Standards Council (SSC) approves the establishment and withdrawal of Singapore Standards and advises SPRING Singapore, the national standards body, on the directions, policies, strategies and priorities for the Singapore Standardisation Programme. The Council has appointed 12 Standards Committees to lead standards development and implementation in various functional areas. Under these Standards Committees, various Technical Committees and Working Groups, which comprise representatives from the industry, professional bodies, associations, academia and government agencies, are formed to undertake the preparation of standards. Please visit for more information on SSC.