Duration: 6 weeks
My Role: UX Researcher & Designer
Introduce Bill Buddy
Bill Buddy is a mobile device application that aims to help dementia patients sort physical mails and be able to identify whether mails are important bills or spams. Different interfaces are provided for patients and care givers. Patients use Bill Buddy to scan the envelope and get advice from the app. Care givers use Bill Buddy to monitor the process and double check the sorting accuracy with minimum effort and workload.
There are 47.5 million elders suffering from dementia worldwide, a gradual decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. Family members and caregivers want to provide support while allowing the person to stay independent as long as possible. One challenge for old people is to check tons of mails and identify the sender of the mail. When there are lots of junk mails in the mailbox, it is extremely difficult for old people to determine whether the mail is important or not, and they may miss the payment due for bills!
Primary and Secondary Research
Dementia is a term for a decline in mental ability and memory loss that interferes with a person’s daily life. It is more common in people over the age of 65. People with dementia may suffer from following: Keeping track of a purse or wallet/ Paying bills/ Planning and preparing meals/ Remembering appointments/ Traveling out of the neighborhood
"Elders often have trouble paying bills and dealing with large piles of mail."
Different stages of dementia. We decided to choose early stage as our project scope because our users need to maintain a certain level of movement ability and relatively high cognition in order to sort mails by themselves.
The findings are used to support our synthesis process. Below are the main findings from the evidence we collected:
- Social Interactions
- Daily Activities
- Caregiver Challenges
Customer Journey Map
From our interview conversations and research findings, we found that patients in the early stage of dementia often have difficulties taking care of finances. From this finding, we were led to focus on helping them take care of finances, such as paying bills, while allowing them independence and also freedom to ask caregivers as well. Combining this idea with several responses from interviews, we thought of designing an application that could help elders sort physical mails, and be able to identify whether mails are important bills or spams.
Our testing showed that users expected some sort of message or confirmation screen, instead of going directly back to the camera screen. We added these confirmation screens after three of our v1 screens. When testing with older people with no or little smartphone experience, they will interact in ways that can be quite unexpected. Some messages on the screen are good to have for elderly, even though they may seem trivial to regular smartphone users. Overall, the flow of the application is short and simple for users.