In order to start this assignment I had to find a senior that was willing to work with me, but it was easier said than done.
• I went to senior’s home in Richmond Hill and asked the main receptionist if there was anyway I could talk to any senior’s. They have unfortunately declined my offer. • Luckily for me I realized that we had a family friend, who was a senior who happened to have a caregiver attending them couple of times a week. • I was able to gain great insight and information on the problems that the senior was facing at the time. • After conducting an interview with the senior, my thinking towards others has changed significantly. I have acquired a new way of looking at things. • I have learned that its impossible to gain knowledge from casual observation, instead one has to gather small details and later combine them into something much greater. • Looking through people’s actions and discovering their underlying motivations is what truly showed me the insight.
• From all the information gathered, I definitely had a “Eureka” moment that motivated me to help the seniors in everyway that I could. • It is said by many that wisdom comes with age. Unfortunately what people do realize is the fact as people age, they begin to face challenges they never thought of facing when they were younger. • Nancy W.
says “It was definitely easier back in the day, at this point in my life its like playing lottery. Every time I go to sleep I have no idea what problem I am going to face.” • One of the things Nancy W.
mentioned was the “Sandwich Generation” which is essentially people that are caring both for their children and seniors. In her case both of her daughters have two newborns, which makes it super difficult for her daughters to visit her on daily bases yet alone help Nancy help around everywhere she goes. • Eventually one of Nancy’s daughters offered to get her a caregiver. Nancy was completely against the idea, due to rising cost of living and the very small income she had every month. After awhile they have agreed upon getting a caregiver when looking at the positives and negatives. Unfortunately they could only afford for the caregiver to come couple of time a week to help with just the essentials. • Caregiver has ben a great help, but there are still problems that Nancy has to face on the daily. • As a designer I felt the need to make Nancy’s life a bit easier, but first I had to identify the different problems she was facing.
In order for me to use my creative thinking to its full potential I had to come up with a serious of questions that will help to identify the problems. • Nancy stated three of her biggest concerns that she had to face on the daily bases. • Over the years, going up the stairs has become one of Nancy’s biggest challenges. Alternative solutions that she got offered to make climbing the stairs easier, were just out of her price range.
• Nancy also stated that over the years she started to forget things more often. That directly correlated to her medication, where some days she would completely forget to take it. • Lastly, she said that it was more difficult for her to communicate with her family, due to her lack of knowledge towards new technology. • By looking at the “6 Thinking Hats” system, I managed to come up with a couple of solutions.
Due to my ideas going a little bit dry, I had to pick the green thinking hat which made me think outside the box. • One of the biggest problems that Nancy had to face on the daily bases was to keep track of her medication. Nancy said, “My memory isn’t as good as it used to be, and its often that I forget to take very important medication”. • This was a perfect opportunity for me to come up with a concept and use my creative thinking towards making Nancy’s life a little bit easier than it used to be. • I decided to come up, with a automatic medication alert device concept that will allow Nancy to not worry about remembering to take her medication. • The device will automatically alert seniors to take their medication at a specified time during the day. It will be able to show the right amount of medication that has to be consumed, as well as what type of medication need to be taken. • Find an old display that would work with the new device • Create a circuit board that will connect to the display • Try to program and pair both the circuit board and screen • Scratch everything due to lack of reliability • Find an alternative (a smartphone) • Begin programming • Choose the right colors for ease of visibility • Determine size for icon • Remove all extras and leave only essentials • Test the app and look for errors • After many days of hard work I managed to come up with a device that will remind seniors to take their life saving medication.
• After many tries and attempts, I realized that I needed to come up with something much more simple and elegant. A device that would notify Nancy to take her medication at any location. A device that would always be on her.
• At the end of the “ten tries” exercise I realized, that there isn’t a better device than a phone. A phone has all the necessary assets to make a perfect low budget (basically free) application that would notify seniors to take their medication. • I managed to come up with an application that was super simple to use and yet provided all the necessary information for seniors • There are many similar products on the market that achieve similar results, but they are bulky and nearly impossible to carry around on person. • In year 2017 ongoing to 2018 practically everyone has their phones on them and to most people it comes as second nature to bring their phone everywhere they go.
• In this case I took something that already existed and reinvented the concept which would work for seniors in a much better, simplified way. • I was able to reshape my thinking in ways to discover new possibilities out of objects that already existed. I had to expand my knowledge and think outside the box in order to come up with all the innovative ideas. • After a lot of trial and error I managed to get the prototype working. The mobile application is able to set daily reminders for specified time and the type of medication that should be taken.
• This app would be perfectly applicable for the senior market due to it’s overly simplified layout which makes it really easy to use for everyone. It only displays the information needed in order to not cause any confusion with people without a technological background. • After a conducting an online survey featuring 236 seniors. It was clearly visible that there would be a need for a product like this.