The DHI Experience Lab team developed a series of Experience Labs to explore the full potential of a Notification System for the home, which could help older adults live independently for longer.

Independent living for older adults

Experience Labs: Independent living for older adults >

Research Themes
Independent living for older adults

Research staff
Tara French, Gemma Teal

Funding
Digital Health & Care Institute in-kind contribution.

Partners and collaborators 
The Digital Health Institute is a partnership between The Glasgow School of Art, University of Edinburgh, and NHS 24.  The Experience Lab team is lead by the Innovation School at The Glasgow School of Art.

The DHI Experience Lab team developed a series of Experience Labs to explore the full potential of a Notification System for the home, which could help older adults live independently for longer. The project was a collaboration with Nestus Ltd.

The Experience Labs gave the opportunity to explore the potential of the Notification System and user-test the initial hypotheses behind the concept by developing and refining a solution with users, in this case older adults.

The team explored the potential of the system to notify the person of risks, such as the hob being left on, or to alert them to daily reminders, such as putting the bins out.

The design-led approach aimed to deliver a set of requirements that were firmly user driven.  The labs provided a safe and realistic environment through which the lab team helped users explore the concept and share their feedback and ideas for improvement.

Understanding the older adult
The aim of the first lab was to understand the older adult, their home life and routines.  The lab allowed the exploration of key themes including: 

  • Aesthetics of the home (including products)
  • Quality of living - aspirations for the future
  • Daily routines
  • Interface design (dashboard)
  • Interacting with technology and products 

The aim of the second lab was to allow participants to interact with technology and home products and provide the opportunity for discussion of buying decisions and possible scenarios for the Notification System to test in lab 3.

Testing the concept
Lab 3 tested the concept in a realistic environment.  The Lab team built a prototype of the Notification System, based on the insights from Labs 1 and 2. The system was tested through role-play, a workshop and focus group from which user driven requirements were distilled. The prototype enabled testing of the concept and feedback prior to investment in a fully functioning prototype.

The lab provided the opportunity to test:

  • Use and location of sensors
  • Notification system
  • Feedback methods
  • Alerts and ‘check-in’ mechanisms
  • Aesthetics of concept
  • Willingness to pay

“It was amazing to see you bring the Notification System to life, and to see such a diversity of older adults interacting with the product with real scenarios.” Ryder Meggitt, Nestus Ltd.

“How important is it that you can personalise the system? 100%... That’s how you make it work for you.” Experience Lab participant.