Moments is a smartwatch application I designed to promote older adults' (60+) wellbeing. It's aimed to allow user to verbally record moments of their daily life and group the recording based on the content. This is part of on going research project as part of theStoryLab at Texas A&M University.
With the target audience, I paid special attention to researching interfaces for older adults. I looked at several papers and articles from Nielsen Norman Group, W3C, Usability.gov, Pew Research, and other resources. I found that vision, hearing, dexterity, memory all decrease with age and are an area of concern, although, attention spans is much higher than the general population.
I also look at competors who also look at capture moment to remember and wellness, but I found very little for older adults population. Most applications were either generic (basic recording application) or directed at teens and young adults (snapchat, instragram,...).
I began looking at products that where target for older adults such as the Jitterbug phones and medical devices as well. Many had the interfaces made of large text and icons and focused on text. Here is where also smartwatches were decided to be used, as wearables for older adults aren't new compared to the general population with medical devices and items such as life alerts. A smartwatch also allows for quick interactions unlike phones and desktop computers.
I based my personas on the research based Nielsen Norman Group and Pew Research of Older Adults using technology.
After coming up with several ideas and concepts, I created a wireframe of what I believe would be a good model based on the current research and materials I collected.
Two researchers and myself conducted a usability study with 7 individuals, 6 men and 1 woman, to test our design. We gave the participants a survey to collect demographic information, technology use, and activities.
We had the participants to do various task with a Moments application prototype on a sony smartwatch. The task constist of:
- We gave the participants a prompt of being unable to care for themselves at their older age and had them record a moment, what is happening and what they are feeling, based on the prompt with the smartwatch app.
- We had the participants record a moment of their own choosing from their personal lives.
After the tasks, we gave have the participants interviews for usability of Moments, based on an edited IBM Louis scale, general experience with Moments, and what they would like to record or save.
Results and Solutions
Most users didn't notice the icons or connect the icons to the word on screen. Many mentioned reading the text before focusing any other parts of the screen. I changed the moments screens by making the icons smaller and enlarged the text to allow more focus on the words.
Some user wouldn't be aware if the moments they were recording were being recorded. The recordings were either cut off by the smartwatch screen turning off due to a time limit, that we had no control over, or not recorded due misunderstand of the record screen from the user. The recording screen was changed to add a timer and an animated circle to give more information to the user.
The save and delete screen wasn't informational enough. Users didn't understand the "x" or checkmark icons.
The "x" and checkmark were changed to a new icons, a trashcan (that many users mentioned) and a thumbs up, and added the word of the action that the users are preforming.
Current Design & Interactive Prototype
With the current design, I would like to conduct another usability study that allows users the use the "Moments" application for several days and gain feedback. Also, the creation of web or phone application to view the moments and recording I believe would add to the experience.