The Leisure Time Canvas

Eliciting Empathy for Older Adults through Activities and Hobbies


  • Marjolein C. DEN HAAN Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Rens G. A. BRANKAERT Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Yuan LU Eindhoven University of Technology



design empathy, older adults, activities and hobbies, storytelling tool


Understanding your user's daily life and interests is essential in providing insights that can be leveraged to define new design opportunities.  However, when designing for older adults, this can be challenging because, users may find it complicated to express themselves; designers may have difficulties to take their perspective and empathize with them. This paper introduces the Leisure Time Canvas, an empathy toolkit designed to facilitate older users to share stories about their activities and hobbies, to elicit their perspectives, desires and needs, and thereby inspire the design process. We report on the design of the canvas and its explorative use with six older adults and reflect on the resulting stories and design implications. This canvas aims to facilitate interaction between designers and user groups that may be difficult to empathize with or experience challenges in verbalizing their needs.




How to Cite

DEN HAAN , M. C., BRANKAERT , R. G. A., & LU , Y. . (2019). The Leisure Time Canvas: Eliciting Empathy for Older Adults through Activities and Hobbies. Conference Proceedings of the Academy for Design Innovation Management , 2(1), 4–14.