From Prototype Testing To Field Trials: The Implication of Senior Users in the Evaluation of a Social Application
Procedia Computer Science
This paper describes the approach adopted and the insights produced as part of the evaluation process of a multimodal social application dedicated to elderly people. The aim of the platform is to facilitate and enhance social interaction of people aged 60+, allowing them to keep in touch in a useful and easy-to-use way. As these kind of social-oriented technologies are by no way mandatory for maintaining an independent living at home, in order to ensure that they are accepted, adopted and actually used by elderly people, three complementary and intertwined issues are at stake: usability, usefulness and acceptability. In this paper, we describe how these three issues have been examined through the user-centred and mixed methodological approach that was adopted. We demonstrate that using both user tests in controlled lab environment and field trials at participants’ homes has succeeded in producing relevant insights at each stage of the design process. We discuss how these insights have either allowed confirming the choices made, and thus proceed with development efficiently, or led to design ideas to improve the application.