Every day we are confronted by numerous objects, devices and services, each of which requires us to behave or act in some particular manner.
Having that in mind, we conducted five contextual interviews, during the User Research, attempting to understand the problems, our target group is struggling with as well as the true needs, the changes they wish for and the goals they are trying to accomplish.
We have primarily focused our attention on the use of digital media in high schools and how they work on a daily basis as well as the impediments they experience.
As the interviewees state, some digital media could be more modern. Some of them are so old and provide a less good performance. That causes frustration and exaggerate waste of time, that lead to non-use. Our observations conclude, that the target group is willing to keep the step with innovation and the development of new and improved products.
For the first phase of user research, we visited five health professionals of different specializations who were kind enough to lend us some of their time for interviews. In addition, we got the chance to take pictures of medical equipment and facilities. The results of this were very suspenseful we think.
The human factor is a very important part of the medical sector. Friendly and competent staff inspires confidence in patients. Devices have to fit smoothly into the process without interrupting it. In regards to appointments the telephone remains the number one medium as personal dialog is still the best way to estimate the urgency of an investigation or therapy.
In practice office work like documentation, data transfer from tools to PC and managing user date take up a large amount of time. Software solutions suffer from a lack of uniformity: Many different vendors contribute and devices and interfaces of different vendors are not compatible from the get-go.
We’re excited to delve further into this mass of information.
Within two weeks using the necessary resources, documentation and brainstorming we will develop our concept based on the E-health topic.
Keeping this in mind we went straightforward to the source. After interviewing a dermatologist, an internist, a geriatrics specialist, a stroke nurse and a performance diagnosis doctor we gained an insight of their work and daily basis problematic.
During the vivid discussions a lot of ideas were popping up in our minds. They were stored and they were all stored, only to be polished in the next phase.
The collected data will be carefully analysed and equipped with our new knowledge and resources our project can slowly but surely be brought to life.
In today’s increasingly digital world many of our medical and healthcare services yet rely on conventional means to diagnose and treat our ailments. Why is it, when we are capable of triviliazing most of our daily struggles by the use of the internet and smartphone apps, that our diagnostic tools and data collection for health purposes lag so far behind?
Put simply, there are no simple solutions. E-Health services, despite making great strides in recent years, are still in their infancy. New ideas are often slow to replace the tried and true; with little reason to replace otherwise reliable systems when failure could cause, in the worst case, grievous bodily harm.
Thus we are faced with a highly delicate problem which in itself not only requires to be solved, but solutions must also undergo exacting measures to satisfy the necessary reliability and ease-of-use. To this end we have interviewed several individuals of relevant demographics, ranging from professions such as nurses to sports scientists and even to healthcare management.
With the information derived from their years of experience, we hope to concept a feasible solution that may be successfully incorporated into the daily workflow of various professionals in order to let them take advantage of the many benefits that modern E-Health services can provide.
Interview partners from many different areas provided a large insight into a lot of interesting fields of digital medicine. They did not hesitate to give us information about their daily work and their opinion about the digital revolution within medicine.
Nowadays, technology is omnipresent, even the area of geriatric care is about to witness digital revolution. They have sensors integrated in the floor to detect specific movements of residents and to notify staff. Yet they are lacking of digital solutions concerning documentation but it is only a matter of time until this part of work will be improved by digitalization.
Documentation is a big deal for software and hardware developers, too . They set a high value on it in order to accelerate troubleshooting.
Long ago digitalization even overtook the world of sports. We had the opportunity to talk to an employee of E-Gym. E-Gym developed from a little start-up to a successful company producing digital fitness equipment. In order to improve workout results, personal information of their users is gathered and is provided within a well-arranged user interface. In this area, extensive and continuous User Research is the key to success.
At this point we want to say thank you to our kind interview partners for providing us with useful information and their time.
On Tuesday we were visiting a primary school in eastern Munich to get some answers to our interview questions and to get an idea of their day-to-day routine.
The day began early at 7:15 am in the teachers’ room which means for most of the teachers waiting in line to get copies from the only copier. Then at 8 am it was time for some math in second grade, which was amusing to observe.
During the day we could thankfully borrow some of the teachers‘ free time for some interrogation. We interviewed 3 teachers individually and 2 together, which turned out to be a pretty good idea.
In the afternoon a part of the group had the chance to take part in an e-training for teachers at a school computer, which was in fact a two-hour tutorial about how to use a new website for teaching materials and other tools. The school computer’s FlashPlayer was so old-school that the live broadcasted video lecture had to be restarted only every 5 minutes since the system admin didn’t allow to bring the system up to date.
We decided to pick firefighters as our User Research group, so we visited some fire departments in and around Munich.
Yesterday we were at the fire station in Neuried. There we interviewed the vice commandant. He told us about his daily routines and the general structure of the voluntary fire brigade. Later he showed us around the station and explained the technical equipment they use. It was very interesting to see the complex aspects firefighters have to deal with.
Today we first talked to the former commandant of the voluntary fire brigade in Unterhaching, who now works as Head of Department at the fire brigade. He told us about his everyday life as commandant and showed us some interesting technical gadgets. After that, we visited the fire station in Mailing where we interviewed the youth leader who also showed us their vehicles and their equipment. You sure could notice the differences between the voluntary fire brigade in Neuried, Unterhaching and Mailing, because the equipment they had in Mailing was much more old-fashioned than the equipments in Neuried or Unterhaching.
Now we are looking forward to analyze our collected data and get ideas how to simplify the work of firefighters.
Our group went to two fire brigade stations to do user research in the form of a semi-structured interview. Having met the rural volunteer fire brigade in Wolfratshausen and an urban volunteer fire brigade in Munich (Stadtmitte), we can tell that they both use similar technical support with some differences in terms of usability and technical progress.
Through the interviews we had the opportunity to explore different tasks and equipment that is used in the work environment of a firefighter. We got to know that technical devices have to function properly regardless of temperatures and weather conditions. This is an important point to consider in the later development of our concept.
In addition an apprentice of the fire brigade in Fürth answered our questions by e-mail, so that we could gather information from another perspective. In summary the interviews provided a lot of informations for us to analyse in the next phase of our design process.
In a series of three blog posts we are going to present the results of our practical course ‘Concept Development’. We will blog about typical phaces of the design process, which in our case are user/field research, concept evaluation and the presentation of a video prototype. As a first step we will run interviews on our target research group to gather all kind of information. Then we are going to do some data analysis in order to evalute a concept/prototype. Finally we will present our final prototype in a video presentation.
This year our target research audience are public services in general. After doing some brainstorming we chose the Bavarian Avalanche Centre (BAC) for conducting our user research.
After setting up an appointment we were meeting up last Tuesday at the BAC to run our interviews. Equipped with cameras, recorders and our prepared semi-structured interviews, we split up into three groups surveying three workers in total. Additionaly we’ve gathered much information about the software which is being used and about the overall workflow producing the avalanche report. All in all we’ve spent about three hours asking our questions and doing our data collection.
As a next step we will now analyse all the data and try to evaluate a prototype or concept from it.