How might we use active technology to improve senior health?
An at-home device that aims to improve social well-being among senior adults. The design promotes meaningful connections between independently living senior adults and their loved ones through indoor gardening.
How might we integrate the use of active technology without disrupting their daily routine?
We responded by integrating our product with hobbies and created our persona revolving a story specific to a senior adult we bonded with and she is a huge plant enthusiast.
Our multidisciplinary team of business, engineering, and design cohorts followed IDEO's Human-Centered Design process and design thinking to ensure our design and business decisions aligned with user research and feedback. Carried out a series of ethnographic research and interviews to understand our targeted audience - senior adults and generated several themes and personas. The problem space was narrowed down with concept testing and card sorting. We designed and fabricated a fully-functional interactive prototype that was finalized after a series of user testing along with a UI that would be associated with the device.
HOW IT WORKS?
kasvi allows users to ambiently connect with family and friends through interaction with their house plants.
It detects motion when they are tending to their plant and immediately sends this information to other kasvi devices. The LED band surrounding the kasvi will begin to glow, which alerts loved ones that the user is currently (in real time) taking care of their plants. In return, friends and family can respond by holding their own kasvi, where the user will be notified with their own glowing kasvi.
DESIGN PROCESS AT A GLANCE
As a team we went through three cycles of rapid product development, where we diverged and converged (in response to our user's feedback) in order to refine our product. We conducted ethnographic and market research, we ideated multiple concepts and validated them with our targeted users as well as fabricated prototypes that were tested among customers.
Our team began with ethnographic research where we went out to different facilities and talked to senior adults in order to gather insight on our targeted demographic and define a problem space. Based on the conversations we compiled an Affinity Wall of anecdotes, hobbies, frustrations and other insights to categorize problem spaces we can potentially explore further.
Five design concepts that fell under our generated themes. We tested these concepts with users via card sorting and focused on the benefits and enablers in order to gain insight on which problem space was desirable and valuable.
OUR VALUES & OUR CUSTOMER'S VALUES
Based on our team's own evaluation as well as general consensus from concept tests, we discovered that the theme of social engagement was the most valuable aspect to further explore in design.
Pain Point Validation
In the U.S, 28% of people aged 65 and older live alone. Living alone is a predisposing factor of social isolation. - U.S Census Bureau
Senior adults who are affected by 'extreme loneliness' are up to 14% more likely to die a premature death.
Socially isolated seniors are more prone to long term illnesses, such as, arthritis, chronic lung disease, impaired mobility, high blood pressure, and depression. With less social contacts, these long term illnesses may develop and go unnoticed. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS)
Seniors who are socially isolated or report to feel lonely are more likely to report unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, poor diets, and lack of physical activity. - English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA)
HOW MIGHT WE...
Encourage seniors to maintain social connections with people in their social network?
Motivate seniors to continue a healthy daily practice?
Integrate the use of active technology without disrupting their daily routine?
CONCEPTUALIZATION AND DISCUSSION
These were notes from discussion where we narrowed down aspects we want our product to have. Our product should:
- prompt meaningful social connections with our senior adults and their loved ones.
- need to have some form of two way interaction/communication.
- not be disruptive with our users' daily routine.
From our interviews, our users expressed disinterest in learning "new tech", furthermore, we learned that indoor gardening was a common hobby. Therefore we chose to continue exploring our flower pot concepts because it involved a task that was already incorporated in many senior adults' daily routine.
Wireframe for Mobile App