"It's an app for connecting people and communities through storytelling."
This was a hackathon project completed from start to finish in less than three days. The problem was to create a way for older adults to become more sociable through technology.
Feb 8 - 10 2019
Chetna, Amber, Eugene, Kris
Designer, Google Home Scripter, Resarcher
Adobe XD, Dialogflow, Google Home Mini
Once we received our task to complete we began searching for a base solution to create our problem around. As the problem presented was about lack of connection in the community causes social isolation amongst older adults. Social isolation is a very broad problem so the area we decided to focus on as a team was to help communities develop stronger connections by sharing stories and experiences amongst one another.
During the first day of the hack there were older adults available as mentors and so they were our primary source of research. Some insights we gathered include:
- Older adults prefer more toned down colours
- They prefer larger screens like tablets or laptops
- Tablets are preferred because buttons on a keyboard can be hard to navigate and become time consuming
- If there is an option to communicate verbally it would make the experience much easier to navigate
During our secondary research session our main focus was to find the best platform to use to connect older adults to the digital world.
Our main source for colour inspiration was this article for Resene which explored different colours made for different age groups.
This article and many other palettes highlighted using softer colours as they weren't as harsh and the user would still be able to process the other information on the page. A common colour scheme throughout is soft pinks and brown as they are more "natural" colours. We chose these shades as our primary palette for the prototype.
To continue off of what one of the older adults had mentioned we decided to find out how many other older adults have tablets and/or a smart speaker. Through our further research we found the about 8 million seniors in the US were using smart speakers regularly in 2018 so this was an aspect we were looking to include in our prototype.
Brainstorm and Ideation
With the user and their needs in mind my group and I settled on a story telling social app that would allow older adults to share their stories with anyone that would listen.
After we decided on the general function of the app we sorted out the various pages and the inner functions of the app as it would be used.
Google Home Mini
Although the challenge would have been completed with the app itself I thought that we would be able to take it to another level by including the Google Home Mini.
There are a few reasons behind including the Google Home to our project. One of the reasons is that it would align with the methods of accessibility that we were trying to design for; as we found that older adults found it easier to listen and speak as a method of tech usage. The other reason for using this technology is because I wanted to see how I would be able to actually control the Mini which I had never worked with before.
What I Learned
I learned to think outside my comfort zone and use new methods to solve a problem
Considering that this event was over three days I learned to manage my time and take into account what could and couldn't be done
I learned that the main designs and functions all have to be for the user and not to my own preferences
Where To Improve
Smoother User Flow
I would have liked to add more pages that could have made the experience smoother and easier to understand
Having more connection between the app and other IOT devices that are easily accessible would improve the use of the service