As part of a larger study developing dietary software, this study aims to evaluate a sample of potential users for their experience and comfort with computers and assess the preferred program design and navigation features for the development of the automated diet history interview. A telephone-based questionnaire and focus groups were employed to evaluate the perceptions, beliefs and attitudes of 37 older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Participants were also shown a range of existing dietary assessment programs and asked to state their perceptions of each. Data was coded and thematically analysed based on computer use, software features, dietary assessment and nutrition programs using N-Vivo software. Three participants had never used a computer, yet others had used computers, and were comfortable using them. For navigation about the program, a preference toward text was identified whilst photographs were preferred for determining food portion sizes. Reduction in the complexity of screen layouts was important and the time to be spent using the program varied widely with a minimum of 10 minutes reported. Development of the computerised dietary assessment program must ensure simplicity of the interface design and flexibility of the locations of use for the older computer user.
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