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Home Security Management App

Empowering the hearing disabled through heightened awareness of their surroundings.

Overview

Responsibilities

Solo Project

Research, Ideation, Design, Reflection

Methodology

Figma for documents and prototype design.

Canva for presentations.

Guidelines

WCAG for Assessability design.

iOS – Human Interface Guidelines (HIG)

Design Frame

How might we enable hard-of-hearing users to enhance their awareness of their surroundings through the implementation of assistive technologies?

Challenge

Many people suffer from hearing disabilities, which inhibit their ability to be vigilant in their surrounding environment. Unless their needs are taken into consideration, they can experience these struggles:

– Communication Barrier
– No awareness of surrounding sounds
– Online content limitations
– Technology dependence

Solution

Creating a safe space with the help of technology that works as ears for the user. Implementing cameras and microphones in each room and connecting them to the App to allow surveillance of surrounding environments.

– Alerting users of surrounding events
– Converting sound into visuals and text
– Extending awareness with wearable tech

Process

Empathy

Gain an understanding of the challenges faced by hard-of-hearing individuals to empathize with their experiences.

Ideation

Explore design ideas through low-fidelity wireframes, allowing for quick iteration and feedback on the flow of the app solution.

Design

Create an accessible mobile application that works with a smartwatch, while following inclusivity design guidelines.

Reflection

Reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the solution, and identify opportunities for further improvement and future iterations.

INCLUSIVE DESIGN

Accessibility Rules for Design

To understand the design requirements for accessibility, I thoroughly familiarized myself with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). By following WCAG’s principles and guidelines, especially for mobile content, I established a strong foundation to fulfill my responsibilities as a designer. These guidelines will inform and shape my project, ensuring an inclusive and accessible user experience.

www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/

GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW

Contrast

The minimum contrast ratio for content is 4.5:1. Bigger elements above 18pt, ratio should be minimum 3:1.

Audio & Video

Audio needs closed captions or subtitles. Transcripts are used to describe sound and visuals.

User Input

Dictation option allows speaking over typing. Selecting feedback method should be available (call/text)

Haptics

Use haptic feedbacks to indicate actions (Alerts). Urgency indicated by repeating haptic vibrations (Ringtone)

Simplicity

Use repeated interactions to create familiarity. A uniform color scheme creates a well rounded experience

Color

Never rely on color alone, use sizing, lines, text and icons to indicate changes

Empathy

USER RESEARCH

A Day in the life of..

By conducting extensive research on the daily routines of individuals with hearing impairment, I gained deep empathy for the challenges they face and the adaptations they make to accomplish ordinary tasks. This research also involved studying the assistive technologies used by them to foster inclusivity. The aim was to gain insights and propose sensitive and effective design solutions to alleviate barriers and enhance their overall experience.

USER RESEARCH

User Persona

The user persona played a central role in shaping the project’s goals and thinking. This user-first approach helped prioritize accessibility. Through extensive research, I gained empathy for the challenges and adaptations that Shaleem needs to face. By harnessing assistive technologies, we identified opportunities for effective design solutions.

Shaleem Oman

22_Years
Profoundly Deaf
Unemployed
London,_Blackburn

 

“I want to be aware of my surroundings when my attention is needed. To be independent and confident in my environment”

Ability

Native language is BSL; uses video chat to sign and messaging to socialize; enjoys audio/video with subtitles

Aptitude

Limited English reading ability; cooking enthusiast; unaware of surrounding events

Attitude

Annoyed by accessibility issues; frustrations with limited communication options; gives up when struggling

Frustration

– Lack of awareness of nearby sounds

– Voices get subtitles, but sounds don’t.

– Limited communication when needed.

Needs

– Alerts for surrounding events

– AI sound recognition for alerts

– Multiple saved contact methods

__Assistive Technologies

Hearing Aid

Bone conductivity turns
vibrations into sounds

MiniCom

Use text to operate devices (text to speech)

Tablet

Use sign in video calls and text with friends

Ideation

EXPLORATION

Wireframe Sketches

By putting my ideas on paper through sketched wireframes, I foster an environment where creative inspiration can freely flow, unburdened by the concern of expending excessive energy. This liberates me to explore the app’s functionality and envision its workings, acting as a solid foundation upon which to build my designs and bring them to life. The sketched wireframes serve as a tangible starting point, igniting the creative process and facilitating the iterative exploration of design possibilities.

CONCEPT MAPPING

Wire Flow

To enhance my design process, I created a wire flow to visualize the app’s layout and functionality. By creating digital wireframes and organizing them to illustrate the flow of movement and interconnectedness, I was able to effectively convey the app’s navigation, features, and functions. This comprehensive representation enabled a clear understanding of the app’s user journey, facilitating informed design decisions and ensuring a seamless user experience.

Design

APPLICATION

Mobile Designs

The final mobile application design for the disability app combines user-centered design, accessibility considerations, and innovative solutions. It features a clean interface, flexible interaction options, and adherence to design guidelines. I kept things simple towards the goal of our persona who wants to be independent in his own space. The app empowers users with disabilities to engage effortlessly and overcome barriers in their own homes.

  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
  • IOS -Human Interface Guidelines (HCI)

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Smart Watch Design

The smartwatch design extends the app’s accessibility by providing a wider range of notifications. With an intuitive interface and inclusive visual and haptic feedback, it offers a seamless and holistic experience. User feedback has refined the design to ensure its value as a tool for the hard of hearing, expanding their access to notifications and interactions to the Conscious app.

Reflection

IMPROVEMENTS

Redesign

In response to valuable feedback, I redesigned the app to enhance its visual appeal and user experience. Embracing human-centered design principles and a cohesive color scheme, the before and after images demonstrate the significant improvement made from the initial wireframe-like design to a more polished and visually appealing interface.

CONCLUSION

Project Outcome

This project has been a journey that broadened my understanding of design’s purpose and the significance of inclusivity. I have embraced the power of small tweaks, learned from the balance between functionality and aesthetics, and eagerly incorporated new technologies. I am confident in the apps ability to enhance users’ awareness of their surrounding environment. Here is what I learned ~>

Broadening the Purpose of Design
  • Designing with empathy: This project taught me the vital role of considering not only the needs of the ideal client but also adapting to the disabilities of app users. By immersing myself in accessibility guidelines, I discovered new ways to help individuals with disabilities, surpassing my previous imagination.
  • Impact of small tweaks: I have come to appreciate how even small design adjustments can make a substantial difference in improving the final result for everyone. These subtle modifications can enhance accessibility, usability, and overall user satisfaction.
Challenging and Enjoyable Journey
  • Embracing challenges: This project presented various challenges, but the journey was incredibly rewarding. Overcoming obstacles and finding innovative solutions pushed me to grow both professionally and personally.
Balancing Functionality and Aesthetics
  • Striking the right balance: Throughout the project, I encountered a recurring struggle with prioritizing functionality over design and aesthetics. Recognizing this, I now understand the importance of finding equilibrium, ensuring both functional efficiency and visually appealing interfaces that resonate with users.
Embracing New Technologies
  • Stepping into the unknown: Incorporating smartwatch technology, despite my personal unfamiliarity with it, was a unique experience. Navigating uncharted territory enabled me to expand my skill set and deliver an app equipped with features that empower users to be aware of their surroundings.

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