Signal

An application that integrating smart glasses and mobile platforms to help Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH) and hearing people communicate with ease by connecting an online interpreted to the conversation.

User-Centered Design Methods

Accessibility

Concept Design

 

Tool: Figma

Problem Statement

The mode of communications used by Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (DHH) people and hearing people are different which leads to a major gap. 

Currently, DHH people do use technologies like typing text messages, software to translate speech to text, and an old fashioned method of pen-and-paper. The problem with all the mentioned methods is that they are time-consuming and they require a lot of effort from the end of DHH people. 

Process Overview

To come up with a user-centric design, we first had to understand our users

Our team, being a group of hearing individuals, could only imagine the issues that arrived on daily basis for our deaf and hard-of-hearing peers. But for designing a user-centric solution, imagination was not going to get us far enough! Hence, from the start to the end of the project, at every step, our team consulted the expert user.

Expert User

To understand the pain points of our users, we interviewed expert users

Expert users are the people who represent the target audience. Our expert user was a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student who was identified as a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing individual. Our Expert User is a tech-savvy person, who is co-enrolled with hearing people in an academic environment. As she has to interact with her hearing and DHH peers on daily basis, she could help us identify the pain point of our target audience in a vivid manner.

My Role in the project

01

User Research

I interviewed the expert user and shortlisted key findings which informed our design direction

Among the top 3 final design choices, my design was best fitted for the user's needs. Hence I led the concept generation stage and formulated the design direction that is used in the final design.

02

Ideation

I was the in-charge of creating sketches, low and high fidelity prototypes that reflected our concepts and allowed us to test our designs

03

Prototype

I was the in-charge of observing users and figure out the issues they faced during user-testing. I was responsible for understanding, evaluating, and re-iterating the designs that fit best for the users.

04

User Test

What I learned from this project

Challenge 01

Challenge 02

Communicating with the Expert User

Our Expert User was a DHH individual while our team was made up of hearing individuals. Initially, we were nervous and clueless about how face-to-face interviews with our Expert User would go. Not to lie, the first couple of mins were difficult for us. However, this difficulty made us realize the sole purpose of the project.

Grudges between teammates

As it was a collaborative project, every member was inclined to work towards their own ideas. However, later people lost interest in working as their ideas were not part of the project. The grudges were understandable but when it started getting reflected on our work, I had to take the lead of the project and work management.

 

This did increase my workload drastically as I had to analyze each teammate's forte and allot work among them, managing the meetings, staying on track with the deadlines, and formulate the flow of the documentation and the entire project itself. Though it was hectic and overwhelming, I realized how leadership works.

User-Centric Design Methods

Empathize

Iterate

Understand and feel from the users perspective

Research

Testing

Evaluating the strength of the ideas by gaining feedback from users

Ideate

Formulating solutions that would solve users' problem

Evaluate

Prototyping

Design

Manifesting ideas into reality in order for users to interact with them

User Research

We interviewed the Expert User to understand the issues faced by our target audience on daily basis. The information gained from this step helped us set the direction of our solution.

We realized that there were some key points we need to focus on when designing a solution

Define

Based on the insights gained from user research, we focused on a couple of points to keep in mind while designing the solution

Key points to focus on for solution design

Lightweight, portable, and slick

Quick, easy, and accurate

Accessible to all

Does not look awkward

Ideate

We brainstormed ideas that could help us design a solution that best fits our users' needs.

After diverging and converging, we finally selected the top 3 ideas. Amongst which the expert user had to select only one that would fit all our criteria.

Top 3 ideas

Designing Prototype

Once the design was finalized, we moved forward to design the prototype. We first created a paper prototype and followed after that was low fidelity and then high fidelity prototypes were created.

Paper Prototype

User Testing

We first tested our paper prototype with our expert users. After test evaluation and design iteration, we design low fidelity and high fidelity prototype.

Testing Paper Prototype

Persona Development

Persona development helps us conceptualize our target audience in a better way by helping us understand our lifestyle, pain points, and what they look for in a feasible solution.

Personas (1).png

Low Fidelity

High Fidelity

Prototype