Page infoName So-Yeon Lee Date19-01-07 20:57 Hit317 Comment0
With the increase in the number of elderly people living alone, the social disconnect they are experiencing is an increasing issue. Through an interview study, we discovered a need for a socially uninterrupted connection, especially with remote family relationships. In practice, however, elderly users were discovered to have difficulty communicating with other family members, including children and grandchildren. A lack of time and the difference in communication methods appeared to compound these difficulties. To address these challenges, we explored existing communication methods for elderly users and their family members through a desktop study, to explore existing and appropriate communication methods for elderly users and family members living far away. Through this process, we discovered several findings from existing research. Specifically, clarity and simplicity in product or service design were identified. In addition, a requirement for an unobtrusive way in which communication could be achieved so as not to interfere with the day-to-day lives of family members. We proposed a concept that can be used as a new communication method to address these challenges. The elderly who live alone feel difficulty in communicating with their family because of the difference in contact methods used (analog and phone conversations vs. extensive and increasing use of various social media platforms within the Korean context). These issues were compounded by a lack of time due to busy life and work habits. A user-centered approach was the starting point for our PicCo concept. A challenge is to offer products in the most familiar way for the elderly living alone. The elderly and their adult children have different preferred interaction methods. However, existing products offer communication in only one way (one product or one application). This tends to interfere with the continued use of the product. We provide the most familiar method for each target. For older people who are familiar with physical products, we offer more intuitive, physical interaction points. In addition, we continue to develop the product by providing an application for adult children who consider accessibility to be important. In addition, PicCo provides communication clues in an unobtrusive way in the daily lives of users by adding 20 minutes of delay to upload images and voice notes. We conducted a usability evaluation for elderly users over the age of 65 to confirm the effectiveness of the PicCo concept. The usability evaluation was undertaken using a working prototype that implements the three main functions of the concept: recording, keeping image, and moving to next image. As a result, we identified some usability issues and opportunities for the concept’s further development. By improving the directional recognition/functionality structure of the buttons and simplifying the use process, we were able to extend existing communication, which was limited to voice call, to a richer way of communication, using images and voices. Based on the understanding of the elderly, we extended the notion of elderly and family communication currently confined to existing device-based applications. By presenting considerations and development points for future research, we finally suggest new design opportunities to provide elderly communication solutions.