Print Email Facebook Twitter Designing an elderly community platform for a telepresence device Title Designing an elderly community platform for a telepresence device Author Van Schie, A.P.M. Contributor Rusak, Z. (mentor) Van Mourik, F. (mentor) Faculty Industrial Design Engineering Department Industrial Design Programme Master of Science Design for Interaction Date 2012-12-13 Abstract This master thesis describes the design of an elderly community platform for YoooM, a touchscreen telepresence device that is currently being put on the market. The objective of YoooM is to allow users the best possible contact over distance. To enable this, the system is equipped with two large screens and two cameras that give a life-sized panorama view of both upper and lower body of the conversation partner. This allows for communication through body language, which is essential for good contact. As the product enables users with small social networks or immobility problems to engage in social interactions, elderly are considered the main target group. The aim of this graduation project is to design a fitting interface that allows for optimal interaction between elderly within a virtual community environment. EXPLORATION From explorations it was found that the current YoooM interface lacks the option of meeting new people. As one of the main aims of YoooM is to reduce loneliness among elderly, this is an essential missing part. From this insight the following design vision was established: “Provide inviting opportunities to meet new peers via YoooM, facilitate casual social (group) interaction and encourage creating friendships.” Literature research and interviews with the target group then resulted in the following six main guidelines that should be taken into account when designing an elderly community platform to meet new people. Provide a ticket-to-talk - i.e. create legitimate circumstances which provide an excuse or a basis for opening a conversation Be perceived as senior friendly - concerning elderly’s age related impairments and moral values Take into account elderly’s privacy concerns - regarding interaction with unfamiliar persons through a computer Trigger self-disclosure and reciprocity - i.e. sharing personal thoughts and experiences Help finding common grounds - regarding similar interests and type of person Provide a community feeling The target group was set as elderly (70+), who experience a sense of loneliness and are looking for casual friendships. They are limited in mobility, have little experience with computers and find it difficult to use mainstream applications. CREATIVE PROCESS Brainstorming and creating user scenarios led to four main concept directions: 1. user profiles combined with a list of all online participants 2. a world with live video images of users 3. clubs of specific interests 4. a concept based on forced encounters User evaluations were used to assess each concept direction and guidelines were constructed based on the feedback. It was established to incorporate the following aspects in a concept design. An open space in which one can move around freely Live video images of users Visible user profiles with personal information Method to filter on interests Options for blocking persons and private conversations A bulletin board This preliminary concept contained the following features. The world is visualized as a park where the user is shown in the center. Moving around is possible by pressing anywhere on the screen and sound intensity of users is proximity based; in a radial manner. The layout of the interface is as follows. The bottom of the lower YoooM screen shows six main menu buttons which give users access to the following functions: 1. adjusting one’s interests 2. searching people 3. viewing the public bulletin board 4. correspond with one’s groups 5. get help 6. exit the program. Another user evaluation then addressed all these aspects individually. The results indicate that all main features were perceived as useful and participants could see themselves using the concept. FINAL DESIGN After improving and further detailing the concept, usage scenarios were made to describe the envisioned use. The Wizard of Oz research method was then used to evaluate the usability of the menu functions in combination with giving specific tasks. The results show that a good balance has been found between keeping a low threshold for new users and giving more experienced users the possibility to attain a high level of interaction. Even though not all assignments were executed completely as intended, the users did indicate that by reading some more or getting some guidance, they could have found the right solution. This was also clearly related to the level of computer experience and age. Overall, the graphics were found to be clear as well as the design of text and buttons. Alternatives for the background of the park were also investigated. Key aspects were found to be an environment that feels personal, looks friendly, cheerful and is not too abstract. From the eight alternatives the park background was found to be most attractive together with a background showing a map of the Netherlands. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS The final concept fits the target group and offers features to meet all of the set design guidelines. Elderly that participated in the user tests were content with the design, including its appearance, user friendliness and usefulness. The concept fulfils both parts of the design vision that was set, by giving users the possibility to overhear conversations and allowing users to form groups and write messages to each other. This namely creates and open, casual and trustworthy environment that stimulates regular meetings. Throughout the design process, the concept has been tailored for YoooM to ensure that the concept fits well with the YoooM device itself. Moreover, the concept could not be implemented on just another device; it is especially designed to utilize the core features of YoooM. In order to make statements about implementation, the concept requires further detailing and validation through additional “live” research. The most important design recommendation is to alter the ‘extra options’ menu that appears when pressing on a user in the park. This is important as the procedure of touching someone is currently not understood to be linked to all functions of this menu. The current research results do indicate feasibility which leads to believe that the devised concept can be turned into a successful product. The concept is believed to be of added value and to be a good step forward in tackling the overall issue of reducing loneliness among elderly. Subject elderly telepresence interface To reference this document use: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:728f841f-4831-42e3-a236-b38f5e4ec8e4 Embargo date 2013-12-13 Access restriction Campus only Part of collection Student theses Document type master thesis Rights (c) 2012 Van Schie, A.P.M.