Experience Project: Early Thinking

Welcome to another exciting chapter in my experience design project! Today I’ll be attempting to gather everything and lay it out so everyone can get up to speed.

What is this project?

Great question. This is a capstone project for my masters program in interaction design at CCA.

What problem are you working on?

Another fantastic question. Really, you’re doing great with these. I’m attempting to help bridge the gap between seniors and voice assistant devices (VAD’s) like Alexa or Google Home. What I’ve found so far is that there is a clear interaction design problem between the two agents.

Seniors actually want to use the devices, but often don’t have the technological literacy to use them. And most information about how to use them is online, out of easy access for that population. On the other side, the devices can provide a lot of value, but they are awful at working with people who aren’t highly tech savvy.

What’s your solution?

This is the tricky part. I know that I’m going to create a bridge between the two agents, but that can be a lot of things. Right now, I’m still figuring out exactly what that will be.

So far, I’ve developed three components to the solution.

  1. A printed reference guide. Not a how-to guide. When speaking to seniors, they all say that it’s something they’d never look at if it was a tutorial at the beginning. A tool for looking back to see if you’ve done something wrong though is a different story. I’m currently testing out forms for the guide (single sheet, book, cards, table tents, etc)
  2. A digital reference guide. Same concept, but the added value of being able to stay current with any update in hardware or software. Plus, it would integrate nicely with the final component of the solution…
  3. A companion app. What I’ve found is that the VAD’s are super useful for some things, but at this point in their capabilities, VAD’s need a visual interface to accompany them. There are too many points of error in the interaction between current conversational UI and people. This companion would be a tool to help bridge the gap in experience until the tech catches up and we can actually have a fully functional voice interface.
Below is a visual of what I just described, in a framework called “The Molecule”

What’s Next?

Next is working to refine these personas and to test the printed guides I’ve developed as prototypes. I also want to start developing the digital guide, but that one is a stretch goal for this project.

These guides are semi-provisional personas. I developed them after some interviews and conversations with the people I’m focusing on, but they are certainly a bit rough in the fine details.

I do think that the persona roles themselves are accurate though. The Connected Senior, who is living independently and has family support. The Family Caregiver, who is providing that support. And the Isolated Senior, who is living independently but has no family to visit him or help out. The majority of his help comes from community resources and medical staff.

Use cases

I’m also going to continue to develop use cases as I speak to more seniors. The use cases will directly contribute to the content of the guides, so the more accurate they are the better.

To finish things off, I’ve included a snap shot of the formal brief below. It has my timeline, deliverables, etc. If you’re interested in diving deeper, take a look. If you have any suggestions or ideas for the project, put them in the comments below. Thanks, and see you next time!