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A Sensitizing Tool For Smart Home Developers

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Busayawan LAM, Sonia WANG and Ray HOLLAND


"Smart home concepts targeting older adults have been significantly increased due to the ageing population trend. However, developers have been struggling to turn concepts into reality due to the lack of understanding of older adults. Therefore, this research aims to develop a user-oriented design research tool that could improve the understanding of home lives of older adults. The project investigated the latest generation of design ethnography and examined the possibility of using this approach as a mean to sensitize developers to older adults’ needs and create user empathy. The new tool combined the richness of Cultural Probes with the rigorous coding process. By presenting extracted issues alongside users’ stories, the results are considered grounded, real and inspiring. It helps challenge the preconception of older adults, which lead to innovative ideas."

PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 18th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2012


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