Mediated social interactions: a personal assistant to enhance the social life of seniors
Impacting Individuals, Society and Economic Growth, Proceedings of the 5th AAL Forum Norrköping, Sweden 24 – 26 September 2013
This paper presents the usability and usefulness evaluation of a Personal Assistant, named AALFred. This application aims at preventing the social isolation of European seniors, by facilitating and enhancing their mediated social interaction. The evaluation is part of an iterative and user-centred approach, which implies the participation of elder users at all stages, and combines various qualitative methods that are coherent with the level of progression in the design process. This paper describes the user tests and in situ interviews that were made to gather user feedback on the first version of the prototype, and discuss their helpfulness to inform the design of the final application. The main insight is that users are very satisfied with the multimodal interaction proposed by the application. Indeed, AALFred’s added value is that, apart from providing a range of useful services, it proposes several “natural” modalities to interact with the device: touch, speech and gesture. The user tests of the first two modalities are described in this paper.