Assistive technology concept for hearing impaired
This project took place over a period of two months as part of the Interaction Design module that I completed as part of the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Master’s program at University College London.
UCL Interaction Centre that delivers the HCI program is a world leading Centre of Excellence in Human-Computer Interaction.
The CHI 2017 student design competition invited students to think about people for whom the rapid advances in technology have not yet brought the same benefits and opportunities that the majority population has been enjoying. Students were challenged to think about groups of people who were left behind and to design a technology intervention that would “level the playing field”.
Our group focused on people with hearing impairment.
The Team & My Role
This was a group project with flat management structure. My group was composed of five students with various backgrounds – psychology, computer science, anthropology or process engineering.
I contributed to most activities we conducted and which are discussed below.
People affected by hearing impairment (Little d group) not suffering from a complete hearing loss.
There are an estimated 11 million people in the UK and 37 million people in the US living with some form of hearing loss. Often hidden from view, hearing loss has a significant impact on daily life. It leaves those affected with feelings of shame, embarrassment and can lead to social exclusion.
Process, methods & tools
We worked on our ideas, suggestions, and research individually and met several times a week to work on the project as a group. We used Trello and Slack to set tasks and communicate effectively.
Process & Methods
Below is a list of activities that I conducted myself or contributed to:
- Exploratory interviews with subject-matter experts
- Literature review
- Affinity diagramming + dot voting
- Creating a research plan
- Online questionnaire
- Forum & Social media exploration
- Persona development
- Using empathy tool
- Storyboards & scenarios
- Rapid sketches
- Paper prototypes
- Wizard of Oz
- 3D modelling (mid & hi-fidelity)
- Co-creation workshop
- Video presentation + Audio recording and editing
- Usability testing
- In-depth semi-structured interviews
- Proof of concept testing
Tools I used
- Pencil and paper
- Cinema 4D
- Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator
All team members were involved in the video production. I developed all the product 3D animations, recorded and edited the voiceover, and partly edited the video.
If you are interested in learning more about the project, below is a paper our team wrote (unpublished). I was only partially involved as at the same time we were writing it I was working on the HearMore 3D renderings and animations.
- I managed to learn basic 3D modelling and animation in a few days
- Managing a team with a flat structure (not having an assigned leader) was very challenging – for future such projects I'd suggest taking turns in leading
- It was a very valuable experience in regard to understanding the challenges related to designing assistive technologies and accessible products