09/2016 - 01/2017
A growing number of people are suffering from dementia. These people are in need of caregivers. GUIDEmentia is a system aimed at supporting the independency of people with dementia. The system consists of a device for the person with dementia and an application for the caregiver. GUIDEmentia supports the person with dementia by completing multistep activities and thereby unburdening the caregiver.
Activities such as making coffee or setting the table can be scanned using the device, which will start instruction videos for the person with dementia. After each step, the user can choose between rewatching the clip or continuing to the next step. These videos can be found in an online database, but can also be generated using the application. This way, videos are personalized and recorded in the user’s familiar context.
Based on my previous year of experience with dementia, I have become aware of the aspects that attract me to this target group. Although the target group is not easy to design for, it is a specific group. Large amounts of research are available, experts are relatively easy to find and come in touch with, and prototypes can be tested with the users. All of these aspects are essential components for a successful design process. Furthermore, I believe motivation is crucial when working on a project for a longer period of time. For dementia, motivation is simple to find. From a short meeting with a user, it becomes clear that their way of life is heavily affected by their condition. The experience of seeing my design have a positive influence on this way of life, is sufficient for all the required effort.
During my last few projects, I have mainly worked individually. Working in a team actually provided some valuable insights for future work efficiency. Throughout our process, we intensively made use of visualizing brainstorms and ideas we came up with, whereas I tend to keep ideas mainly in my head. Visualizing did provide a clear overview of our ideas, taking away the need to remember everything, thus leaving more attention and energy for other tasks. Furthermore, we used intermediate deadlines with task divisions. The deadlines urged me to work a little harder at times to make sure tasks would be finished. Next to that, it was always clear what had to be done at any given time. I believe that these aspects contributed greatly to the delivered quality and quantity.
Regarding competency development I believe I mainly grew in Technology & Realization, User & Society, and Creativity and Aesthetics. During our project, we had a strong focus on user testing, requiring prototypes that could be used for an extended period of time. I have gained experience in designing prototypes that met these requirements, as well as those specified for the target group, combined in an aesthetically pleasing package. New skills I have learned to apply during this project include NFC scanning, CNC milling, and finishing 3D printed and wooden models.