There is still a lack of disability inclusion in today’s society, which is important to consider. When working with people with a disability, the focus should be on their strengths and what they are possible to do, not what they cannot do. This approach should also be applied when working with our user/co-designer. Besides that, assistive technologies should be used with extreme care and used correctly, not just for the sake of using them.
In any case technology abandonment should be prevented. This is done by making sure that the user will use it throughout their entire life, and not just for a short period. Technology abandonment occurs due to poor device performance, changes in priorities and/or user needs, easy device procurement, and a lack of consideration for the user’s opinion. It is important to take these factors into consideration and try to prevent them as much as possible.
For this case owner there are some impairments which might relate on certain levels. Some of these are ADHD, screen addiction, and boredom. These impairments can have relatable symptoms, and therefore possible existing solutions to the problem of our case owner.
Human Centred Design
Human-centred design is a design process which should be used because it focuses on real people and puts them at the centre. It is a process that leads to a successful design through careful observations and questions to get a deeper understanding and to identify the problem.
Doing close observations of a human can be a very personal topic. It is important to consider the ethics of it and the privacy of the person. Asking for consent and setting expectations and boundaries in the beginning can prepare both parties.
Main findings Co-Design
- It is necessary to include the people you are designing for in every step of the design process.
- The product is dependent on users’ needs and desires, so it is important to include those.
- Icebreakers can be used to gain trust and make participants feel comfortable around each other, building a bond.
- Don’t just ask questions, but also let the user design something.
In the beginning of the project to get the process started, the main goal was to create a bond with the case owner. As the information of the project stated, the case owner is intellectual impaired. It was therefore of extreme importance to get of with the right food. This was mainly approached by using different ways of icebreakers. Half of the group went over to see the case owner and tried to get to know each other via questions. The other half made a video where they introduced themselves. These videos were an extreme hit, and the case owner was immediately more relaxed and comfortable.
In the first meetings, many questions were asked to the case owner. Questions were asked related to certain topics like; family, hobbies, joyous events and daily routines. Then more specific questions were asked to get more details about where and when the problem occurs. After trust has been gained and before asking more into depth questions, it is important to ask for consent and set boundaries. This was approached based on the research done in the context mapping. Lastly, more direct question were asked. These questions relate more to the phone use, difficulties, feelings when the problem occurs and ways the case owner likes to communicate. From the first few meetings, the following findings were conducted.
Our case owner, named Laura, is a 20-year-old woman with an intellectual impairment. During the week she lives at the day-care named ‘Hallo Dievers’. Here she has a busy schedule with fun activities and working in the restaurant. In the weekend she stays at her mom’s or dad’s. Laura is very social and likes to be around people. She loves baking, crafting and making puzzles. Laura has sometimes trouble with expressing her feelings and telling what she likes.
To get a better idea of what Laura is doing during the day, a daily routine was created. This is how her days look like during the week and not the weekend. Laura wakes up and takes a shower. She has trouble doing her own hair, therefore there is always a guidance that helps her with that. Then she will have breakfast together with the others. After that they do all sorts of activities such as crafting and baking. On certain days in the week, she also works at ‘Heerlijk Happy’ which is a café/restaurant where she is a waitress and does the dishes. In the evening she sometimes cooks diner and eat with the others from the day-care. After dinner she will watch tv or sit in her room on her phone. After that, she will go to sleep.
A weekly routine was also created to see where Laura is on which days. From Monday to Friday, she is at the day-care. During the day she either works at the lunchroom or at Heerlijk Happy, which both are eateries. As earlier mentioned, in the weekend’s Laura either goes to her mother, father or stays at the day-care. But she is most often with her mother on the weekends.
Here it can be seen that Laura has a busy schedule and sometimes needs a bit of rest, especially during the weekends. Too many activities in the weekend can be too tiring for her, but too few activities can be boring for her. When she needs a break or feels bored, her usual fallback is to do something on her phone.
Above examples of different views of the problem are sketched. The case owner grabs the phone at random moments and curiosity rises. Mostly this occurs when the case owner is on the bed not doing another specific activity. The case owner starts texting the dad. These messages are different from each other, or sometimes also a repetition of itself. Example texts are:
- 15:20 How are you?
- 15:20 How are you?
- 15:20 How are you?
- 15:25 What are you doing?
Problem definition phase 1
The problem is that Laura often text people in large quantities. This can be people she knows and does not know. Among others, the guidance receives a lot of texts which they found very provoking.
Design challange phase 1
“Our main design challenge is to reduce the user’s texting behavior and give her more phone freedom at home and work.”
Brainstorm session 1
After the meetings, conducting multiple findings, having a problem definition and design challange, it was time to brainstorm on possible solutions.
The goal of this brainstorm is to provide an outlet for the current train of thoughts. It’s about; what the problems are and what are possible solutions. The main idea that shimmers through in all of the brainstorming is taking small steps that work towards a bigger goal. Additionally, as there are small steps taken, it is important this shows in some sort of overview. Having an overview of these steps can motivate the case owner.
Brainstorm session 2
The above brainstorm shows ideation for a concluding concept and new ways of co-design. The new ways of co-design should optimize the concept after testing. The new ways of co-design are questionnaire and Pinterest board. The concept brings smaller rewards to a bigger reward in a physical product which are beads on her phone.