Application for Older Adults to Ask for Help from Volunteers Through Television: Design and Evaluation of a High Visual-Fidelity Prototype
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Designing a television (TV) application for older adults presents specific challenges, especially when the issue is an application that aims to support volunteer activities which will benefit older adults. This article describes the design process and evaluation of an interactive high visual-fidelity prototype of an application for a TV set-top box, which aims to allow older adults to request, in a simple and quick way, help from a group of volunteers, in specific tasks such as small household maintenance. Concerning the user interface design, a set of specific guidelines were considered and applied in the development of a high visual-fidelity prototype. The result of this process was later evaluated in heuristic evaluation sessions and user testing. The former were supported by a list of heuristics, drawn from other lists used in recent research and adapted to the context of the study. The latter were conducted with potential users that tried to accomplish some tasks on the prototype. In a context in which several studies show that television is a highly privileged platform to provide information to the older adults population due to its high degree of use in this group, this project may present important contributions to better understand some of the challenges that are associated with the design and early evaluation of TV applications whose target audience is older adults and some good practices that should be followed to achieve a product that is easy and enjoyable for this public to use.
KeywordsIterative design User interface design Heuristic evaluation User testing Application for set-top TV box Volunteering
The research leading to this work received funding from AlticeLabs@UA. The authors would like to thank the support provided by the National Association of Gerontologists (Associação Nacional de Gerontólogos - ANG) for their contribution to this paper and for the collaboration in this research in general.
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