At the weekend to participate in the activities of UXDAY2012 designing Shanghai2012, the process is to go to Zhongshan Park to observe the old people in parks, as well as visit the elderly home, to find can be designed to help the elderly build a better life experience place. The activity is wonderful, throughout the process I also found 5 experience designers can improve the habit, here I summarize some of my methods and experience, I hope to help.
The result of user situational observation is feelings or conclusions, not facts.
The first part of the activity is to visit Zhongshan Park and the old people's home to observe the behavior of the elderly, we will collect information on the blackboard. I see information such as "negativity and pessimism", "loneliness", "want to socialize" and "passionate about being noticed," which, in my opinion, are not enough to be the high-quality information needed to build a situation.
The first step in experiential design is to create a situation that is as real as possible in such a context as to create as real a problem as possible (problem), so that a real situation needs real material to be built. When you say, "Old people are interested in being paid attention," you are based on what comes to this conclusion--we need a story that really happens.
I have similar findings about "keen attention", and I am more of a "story": The leading old man will fold their newspaper into chunks of paper, put them in their pockets, and tell them to the young people who are watching them. This is a "story", not an "inference".
The situation should be based on the "story" rather than on an arbitrary "inference", there is enough of such a true story, can make our situation more plump, so that the problem or opportunity found, will become affixed and the needs of users.
If possible, express these little stories in a sketched form (or photo), put them on the wall, decorate a situational room, and design in the room.
This is a case in which the service design Melbourne saw all the "stories" posted around a model and furnished a situational room.
Replace the sensory sense of the user with your own sensory senses
In the old people's home, as a group of people with superior life, we naturally have a preconceived judgement of the whole environment, and in brainstorming, many people find that "a lack of well-being", "damp and dark helplessness", "lack of social help" and so on.
Many sensory sensations of the environment are subjective and not based on a true Story (insights)
Maybe some old people think so too, but as users and situational researchers, we can not use their sensory experience to replace the user's sensory feelings, here, we also need a variety of stories to support these sensory evaluation.
The sensory perception of the situation comes from the feedback of each interaction in the surroundings. So what we need to think about is the interaction between the old and the environment, for example: The armrest of the aisle, the handrail of the washroom, the switch of the lamp, the bed, the wheelchair, the armrest of the door, the seat and so on, these are the interactive contacts (touchpoint), and the whole experience of all the contacts constitutes the evaluation of the whole situation.
And we as designers, for the first time to come to this environment, the overall context of the evaluation only from the visual, smell, and compared with the past experience, and not personally understand those old people every day in contact with the interactive contacts, then our sensory judgments are inaccurate.
Not sensitive to the solution now
The best way to find out about user problems is to study existing solutions, because in the vast majority of cases, as long as the solution that is still in use, there must be a problem solved or solved, study them, nature can dig out the real problems.
And I have observed that many of us are more likely to communicate directly with older people and ask them what their problems are, how they feel, and are not sensitive to existing solutions. This is not to say that direct communication is unimportant, but that understanding of existing solutions helps to understand the real needs of the user, and it is interesting that most of the user will be accustomed to forgetting the common tools around him to solve the problem.
Because of the limited time, I observed some existing solutions to the old man's side, for example, fitness equipment, I see because in the outdoors, the fitness device rust, there is an old man to exercise, but also need someone to help her grasp some of the high handle, note that these are observation results, to do is to faithfully record, Instead of making judgments, other solutions include alarms, daily medicine boxes, televisions and remote control machines, screen doors, and so on.
These are some of the solutions I've taken, and there are real problems behind each existing solution that are being addressed to varying degrees.
If time is ample, we should conduct a complete analysis of all the solutions that are used around the elderly, and the results should contain the problems that each solution should solve, what difficulties (improvements) are being used, and whether there is a link between the solutions (innovation points).