Family Connect

User Testing

Luce is 96 years old.

She has never used a computer.

Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren live across the country and around the world.

The TV and her automatic reclining chair are the centers of her physical space.

She spends her time reading books, watching TV, eating, napping, and in physical therapy.

She has helpers who assist 24/7 with meals and are on call at night.

The electronic devices she does use are a wireless telephone, TV/remote (that she thinks has too many buttons), and radio.

Design Challenge


How can we connect people who feel isolated or intimidated by technology with their family who may live far away?






We started with paper prototypes and developed more advanced versions as we learnt more about our users and the interaction we wanted. Along the way we learnt:

  • Physical buttons are good.
  • Screen based touch sensing can cause confusion; this is particularly the case when the response to touch sensing takes place only after the finger is released.

  • Each button should have one function.

  • Interactions should be familiar and physical, like the scrolling wheel on a radio.

In the end,we implemented functionality using an Arduino and were able to take the prototype back to our original users. What to look into:

  • Dual-function volume control needs more testing to determine if it is confusing to users.
  • A less sensitive scroller wheel will improve the interaction for less dexterous fingers.



Thanks To:


My partner Lutfi Rahmanto.

Russell Blanchard for his guidance and for teaching me how to tell a compelling story.