Design process of BoBo

Over the course of this project I went through several iterations to come to the final concept: BoBo. These stages are visualized in the graph above.

Research & defining the context

The project started with researching what dementia is and defining the context. Within this stage was chosen to focus on problems that occur when going to the supermarket. Several experts at the GGzE where contacted to gain more knowledge on what these problems are. After visualizing all the problems for people with dementia that occur when going to the supermarket another expert was contacted. This person worked at the City of Eindhoven and is involved within projects surrounding dementia. The main advise she gave was to focus on the origin of the problems; making a grocery list.

Iteration I

Concept Development

The first iteration focused on making a correct and usable grocery list. After doing a brainstorm on different input and output possibilities for making a grocery list one of these ideas was built into a prototype. Within the pictures you can see different possibilities of input and output that where explored during a brainstorm session.

First prototypes & user evaluation

This prototype was a board on which you could hang a card for each product you needed to get at the grocery store. After evaluating this prototype with elderly the idea of a tick list was suggested. For the second evaluation of the prototype a tick list was made to also evaluate. The result of these evaluations was that both prototypes where difficult to use. The conclusion was that it would still be easier to write down your own grocery list the way people do this now. Both prototypes can be seen in the pictures above.

Prototype revision

With the feedback from the evaluation sessions the prototype of the board was altered. Instead of having to search for the cards, each card would be placed at the same location as the product was stored. In the pictures you can see how this concept would work. When the paprikas are gone, you take the card and hang in on the board.

Mid-term presentation

All of the prototypes and user evaluation results were presented at the midterm presentations on the TU/e and at the GGzE. Here feedback was given on the complexity of the prototypes. The experts at the GGzE also confirmed that there was this problem of people with dementia that get the same groceries too often. The advice was given to scale down the problem and focus on one person only. The other advise was to look at suggestions of groceries to get or having reminders of when a products spoils.

Concluded from the feedback received during the evaluations by users and the midterm presentations the main focus of the next iteration lies on reminding someone of what they have at home, while in the store.

Iteration II

Field research

To gain more insight into the problem and to confirm the need for focusing on reminding what someone has at home when in the store, the method “Fly on the Wall” was used. Here a person with dementia was followed to the store.

When talking with this person and his partner afterwards they were asked if the problem of getting groceries that are still at home was a problem. The partner answered that this problem did not occur; however when doing groceries together the person with dementia would always ask about products that they would need to bring, even though they had just checked that they still had this product at home.

After finishing with a conversation about the observations the conclusion was that there is a need for a reminder when in the store; this reminder would show you what you still have at home.

Concept development

Doing a brainstorm with a fellow student resulted in a couple of different concept ideas; besides this an important factor for the product to work would be that a person with dementia has to trust that the grocery list they get in the end is always correct.

After the group brainstorm I conducted an individual brainstorm. The final concept would involve creating a memory of products that are still at home. This could be done by means of a photograph, a written list or an audio fragment. To test which of these methods would be best a user test was conducted.

In the meantime an individual brainstorm session resulted in two ways of taking this reminder to the store. These where to incorporate the reminder within the grocery bag or to attach the reminder to the grocery list. The expert at the GGzE agreed that incorporating the reminder into one of these products would help with incorporating the product within the shopping routine.

User test

A user test was conducted to test out the three methods of having a reminder; a photograph, a written list or an audio fragment. While discussing the setup of the user test with the expert at the GGzE a mutual agreement was that recording and playing an audio fragment would be too difficult for this purpose.

The test was conducted with two different people. The results concluded that the best method is to make a written list of the products that are still at home. Reason for this where that the pictures where not clear, understood as things they should get and would probably be too difficult to make.

Iteration III

Final concept; BoBo

By combining the results from the user test and the iteration of having a reminder attached to your grocery list or shopping bag, the concept of BoBo was developed. BoBo consists of a screen that shows a reminder of what to buy and what is still at home. A person with dementia can use this screen as a guideline for making their grocery list. This list also consists of a part what to buy and what is still at home. By filling in this list a person with dementia has control over what to write down and has a visual reminder within the store of products they still have at home.

Evaluation of BoBo

BoBo was presented at the Think Dementia Business fair at Natlab Eindhoven. People liked BoBo and recognized the problem of people with dementia buying the same product over and over again. There was an interest in if having a product like BoBo would really help with solving this problem.

Other visitors saw a potential in BoBo to be useful for a greater target group. For example children or mentally ill people.

Going more into the visual aspect and the usability of BoBo a visitor recommended using red and green colors to make it visually stronger that you don’t buy the items that are still at home. Another visitor questioned the ability of elderly with dementia to write their own grocery list.

Feedback received from these visitors is taken into account within the further development of BoBo.