Testing the Iphone

If you have read any of my previous posts you will know that for the last few weeks we have been doing a project based around elderly people living in nursing homes, with the main aim to improve their everyday experiences. The project is part of our GUI (graphical user interface) module, so the product or service that we implement will have a GUI. While we were doing our initial user testing on friday we decided to test the iphone on an elderly person,as touch screens can be very powerful when it come to designing a GUI. We wanted to see how they would react to it, and if they could physically use it. Our findings were……

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  • She understood the sliding mechanism to flick through the pictures-It was intuitive.
  • She could slide to unlock the  phone with the sliding mechanism, was a little small though for her
  • She enjoyed flicking through the pictures using the sliding mechanism.
  • she found it hard to use the icons because she was pressing them like a button, but wasn’t getting feedback, so she wasn’t taking her finger of the screen, so therefor it wasn’t opening the application, it needs to instantly open when she touches it.
  • She understood the photo symbol and calculator symbol on the dashboard and managed to use them
  • she commented about the calculator “I used to have one of these for when i went shopping, to calculate the prices” (so it was familiar to her even though it was in a new context)
  • She was a little heavy handed, everything just needed to be a bit bigger and give more responsive feedback so she new she was doing it correctly.
  • She was curious about the ‘home’ button, and could use it fine!

All in all it was very positive,i think elderly people could use a touch screen, if the GUI was simle enough and had familiar contexts to what they are used to. A key factor is that they need to gain that feedback to know they are doing something as they don’t have the feeling you get when using a physical button.

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