Ash at CIID

Ashwin Rajan's blog while at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

Screen-based solutions for eldercare -process and concepts

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The Project:
We worked on this project during Graphical User Interfaces class; here are some notes on the core objectives of the project:

‘The course project will focus less on generic WIMP (windows, icon, menu, pointer) type of GUIs familiar to most people today (e.g. Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X) and more on the highly tailored, contextual interfaces for vertical markets like mobile phones, medical devices.”

“Why Eldercare?
Creating a concept with an application specific GUI for an eldercare context with multiple user groups (patients, doctors, nurses and visitors) with their respective information needs represents an interesting basis to create highly tailored and relevant interfaces for a demanding target group. The goal will be to develop, design and prototype tools and experiences that have impact and show empathy towards the different user groups needs and contexts.”

An elderly resident in the hallway of one of the homes.

An elderly resident in the hallway of one of the homes.

The brief:
Create and develop a concept for a application-specific GUI that offers value in the eldercare space, based on the insights that were gained as a result of user reseach in elderly homes.

Our Approach:
By analyzing the data from contextual inquiry, observation and interview techniques with the elderly (discussed in my earlier post ‘User Research in Elderly Homes in Copenhagen’), we had concluded on the following key needs among the target user groups: dignity, pride, ownership, identity, autonomy. Working within the broad context of a chosen few themes, we further refined our design challenges down to problem statements that took the form ‘How Might We…’. Some of the statements that helped direct efforts towards specific solutions with high value were:

  • How might we facilitate the sharing of identities via screen based applications and devices?
  • How might we leverage pubic spaces within elderly homes to foster beneficial social interaction among the target groups?
  • How might we facilitate the creation of positive feedback loops between the elderly and supportive user groups like a)families of the elderly residents and b) carers?
  • How might we leverage the existing knowledge among the elderly about use of devices such as mobile phones, dvd players or television?
  • How might we leverage existing mental models of (digital and traditional) artifacts to create metaphorical interfaces for the user groups?
carersaremajorpartofelderlyslives02

Carer involvement is a critical determinant of life quality of the elderly.

Snapshots of prototypes with notes:

The fable cloth concept: a surface computing idea to help the elderly literally ‘carry and share’ memories and virtual personal objects in the form of this multi-touch foldable device.

a surface-based multi-touch device concept

'Fable Cloth': a surface-based multi-touch device concept

Physical health and well-being is of critical importance in elderly care. Some of concepts drew inspiration from what we saw (and missed) in in-house gyms:

Using visualization-based feedback to motivate the elderly to sustain fitness regimes.

Using visualization-based feedback to motivate the elderly to sustain fitness regimes.

The final concept we decided to refine into a full-fledged idea began as a networked photo-frame device that hung on a  The storyboard below helped consolidate our ideas around the concept, and envision its behavior in a usage scenario.

Storyboard depicting how elderly user interacts with the digital photo frame.

Storyboard depicting how elderly user interacts with the digital photo frame.

We went back to the elderly homes with low-resolution prototypes to get first-impression feedback from the elderly. This helped us to use combine aspects from the various prototypes into what became the final solution (discussed in a my next post).

anne_edited1

Annie, an elderly resident we had modelled a persona on, 'interacting' with a low-res prototype.



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Written by Ashwin Rajan

December 28, 2008 at 8:20 pm

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