Regarding the Final ProjectPosted: October 28, 2011
Q: Does it have to be a ‘completely new product’?
Answer: no, it is not a must.
Q: Can we make an app and use an existing tablet/device
Answer: it is fine to use an existing platform; but remember the physical aspects of the interaction too. Taking ergonomic aspects for the elderly into account; there are excellent opportinuties to design accessories/extentions. (There is also a huge market for these devices, with high profit margins)
One more thing: do research, because there might be already …
Let’s try to publicly answer some of the questions I received regarding the final project:
Q: Does it have to have a screen?
Short answer: no
Long answer: this is not a valid question. If your design considerations lead you to the need of having a screen, then you should probably have a screen.
Q: Is it ok if we do facebook for elderly?
Short answer: no
Long answer: no way
Q: Should we invent something totally new, or should we just look at existing systems and perhaps use something in a new context?
Short answer: yes and no
Long answer: Do research! Research is the single most important thing at this phase. You can do top-down research by looking at the market; what are the existing products, what has been used and what can be done upon them, and bottom-up research by interviewing and/or observing the potential users; finding out their needs by analyzing their routines.
Every product is interactive. Some more than the others. The important thing in this project is to find a good balance between physical embodiment and the interactivity. You should try to position your product/system in the green zone, somewhere between designing a hammer and a new social network.