4 – Reflection
This project gave me an opportunity to dig deeper into inclusive design and reveal all the various methods we can use to adapt our design to suit all users. It also made me feel eager to create the products designed for the wider audience, products that solve human needs and improve people’s lives.
Final prototype – video
I also got the chance to implement the complete design system from scratch. I understood the design patterns and how they can align with people’s mental models, with a goal to be understood intuitively. I understood the importance of testing the right audience, and how thinking outside the box (in this case widening the usage of the app to the tablet as well) can lead to a good solution that users will like.
Strengths & Weaknesses
The main strength of this exercise was that it proved how, when design principles are applied accordingly, every challenge and user need can be tackled and resolved. The first step leading to this would be just realising how disabilities can come in more shapes, and how, depending on the context, each person can be in a position of a disabled person. Having that in mind, pointing our design decisions smarter can bring us to deliver the product for a wider audience.
The main weakness in this project was the usability testing, which was extremely difficult to conduct because of the ethics. Even though it was impossible to find a person with dementia, I managed to get a second opinion from the target user group. The interview I did in the nursery home in Leopardstown helped me to emphasise with the carers and to realise and highlight the most and least used functionalities the carers would use in the app.
Other weakness in my case is a too-wide scope, and my stubbornness to make it narrow and focus on less things. Even though I wanted to solve just one problem, more and more challenges appeared and I didn’t want to exclude certain functionalities from the app, such as carer help section. Because of the lack of the time, I didn’t do a complete drill-down of all the listed categories in the app but the idea should hopefully be clear.
Changes & Future work
Even though this project is finished, I’m still planning to meet Deidre from Irish Dementia Society and have a chat with her about what else can be done in the app to help both carers and patients. I’ll try to test my final prototype with her and hopefully get some answers.
Even though I think I need a special ethical approval if I want to test with a person with dementia, I would like to put myself in the challenge and try to find an alternative solution. I have to admit, this project got me interested in helping people with disabilities, and specially after reading a lot about carers and dementia-diagnosed patients, I realised how serious this is and there is not a lot of things that people do to help them.
This app can be used in nursery homes by carers, but also in patients home by carers and patients’ family. I wouldn’t limit it just on dementia patients, can be used as a help for any type of staff or a family member who handles a patient where the attention and knowledge of patient’s routines is needed the most.