User Involvement Austria

RelaxedCare will deeply involve users in the requirements analysis, the usability engineering and evaluation tasks, mainly in Austria (50plus) and Switzerland (Red Cross). The generation 70+ is growing and getting older. More and more of these elderlies try to live independently and for a longer time in their own home. Based on the background that elderly increasingly take care of their parents, we will try to relieve this generation by providing them a fair/stress-less life. The project is important for two generations, the middle-aged and their parents – the project end-users. The end-users will be involved to investigate the needs of the users and wishes addressed to the project objectives.

In general, all user involvements are on a voluntary basis, and the users receive appropriate information on the use of their personal data. The participants of the user studies are provided with information flyers in a language easy to read containing the aims of the study, and an overview of the tasks expected during the trial session. We inform the participants about all relevant aspects of the trial that might reasonably be expected to influence their decision to participate. Furthermore, informed written consent (easy to read) by the participants is a requirement for all evaluations. Volunteers are informed on at least the following:

  • Purpose and expected duration of the study.
  • Potential risks (if any) and benefits of participating in the study.
  • Which data will be collected in the study, in particular data directly related to the volunteer, and to what degree (and how) confidentiality of such data will be ensured.
  • Who will be in charge of storing the collected data and who will have access to it (EUOs).
  • What kind of processing will be performed with the collected data and for how long will the collected data be maintained (after completion of the project data will be destroyed).
  • Which of this data is shared between the assisted person and the informal caregiver.
  • Contact persons for the study, who can answer any questions the participant may have.

The first step to evaluate the user requirements was to investigate user’s demands on aesthetics in product appearance and interaction preferences, which is a key factor for creating an emotional experience with a product or service. A further step was to design use cases and scenarios to ensure that the system’s services and products address user needs and fit into user’s daily routines.

In the course of the first evaluation in July and August 2013 in Salzburg (AT) we conducted

  • a focus group discussion,
  • interviews
  • a designer workshop
  • and cultural probes

to obtain information for designers and engineers.

a. Focus group:

The focus group answered the following main topics including their questions:

  • Communication in general
  • Communication of health problems
  • Past and present experiences during the care
  • Ideas and wishes, how care could be improved

b. Interviews

The interviews answered the following main topics including their questions:

  • Dealing with technological devices
  • Care situation Care Giver
  • Care situation Elderly

c. Designer workshop

The NDU held a designer workshop at the 50plus center in Salzburg. The focus was on beloved and hated things. Here some photographs from the items:

c.1. beloved things:

Photos of people and beloved things

e.g.

Music

“Music for me is life companion” – “Music is everywhere, Bach soothes while car driving immensely.”

Grandchildren

“Children are our survival, which reflects the past into the future!”

Food

“I love good cheese”

c.2. hated things:

Photo of people and hated things

d. Cultural probes

The cultural probes answered the following main topics including their questions.

  • activities of daily living, pleasures/burdens
  • communication
  • use of products, kind of products, functionality
  • thoughts and ideas

Here some examples of the outcome:

Diagram of favorite places

“Be on the way, is also my way to go!”

Diagram of items on the way

Summury:

Aesthetics, music, enjoyment of products, and good smell are significant features. Those were mentioned and appreciated by the volunteers. No negative impression may arise.

The results of the requirements will be presented to the engineers and designers during the next consortium meeting in October in Luzern. Several scenarios will be presented, those hopefully will develop a solution.

It will be exciting!