WP 3

User requirements & context Analysis

To know the user’s requirement is a key aspect to design any product or service appealing for the users. I the SI-Screen Elisa project a special effort has been made to include the user voice in the process of design and development of the solution. All in order to enable the success of the project.

The main objective of this work package consists of:

  • To define and specify end user requirements and to comprehend their communication behaviour
  • To gather all relevant background knowledge to enable the success of the product and to derive requirements
  • To assure acceptance of proposed technological approaches by end users and professionals trough a participative design approach

In order to achieve these goals successfully we carried out three tasks mainly: defining the socio-technological typology, determining the visionary system solution and analysing the usability of the prototypes.


1. Introduction and objective

Many AAL projects are geared to develop innovations that improve the lives of the elderly. Therefore, to be accepted, and thus successful, these must as well as possibly satisfy the needs or meet the predispositions of the elderly.

One of the basic challenges of this task is that "the elderly" are all but a homogeneous group of people. In order to be adaptive and yet avoid too much expensive individualization we therefore propose to segment the overall group of elderly into sub-groups with similar qualities regarding the innovation task to be performed. One approach to do so is the development of socio-technical typologies, similar to the milieus developed in market research.

2. Method

This task is inspired in the holistic innovation approach proposed by Moritz (2009). This methodology consists of several well-linked steps that guide the whole innovation process and ensure its success, which basically is focused on meeting the users' needs and shaping a better future scenario. One of the first steps is focused in the context system analysis. In this phase we analyze and interpret several relevant issues such us: innovation potential, barriers, boundary conditions, target group, in this project especially elderly people and their needs.

One main part of this context system analysis was the here presented typology. The methodological foundation of the development of the typology is within the expertise of Innovationsmanufaktur GmbH, the approach is loosely oriented at the milieus produced by sinus ( To describe it briefly, after the final definition of the types and an explorative filling of the table thus created in an expert workshop, a set of questions were produced to verify the hypotheses regarding existing proposals for typologies, and identify new ones. These questions were delivered in a questionnaire to more than 200 elderly, and on the basis of the analysis the typology was amended and improved.

3. Results

The result is a unique typology that helps to understand and categorize those features of elderly. We propose to structure our target group taking into account two variables: social interaction and technical affinity. The figure 1 shows the typology that we propose. In the vertical axis we can see the technical affinity, and in the horizontal axis we present the social activity. Eight groups of elderly people have been included in this typology:

Figure 1. Elderly typology

4. Conclusions

The main conclusions of this paper are:

  • Elderly people are a heterogeneous group in terms of social interaction and technological affinity.
  • This typology allows us to better understand relevant end users features, as well as, to understand the end user needs and predispositions.
  • The results of this paper will help the AAL community to produce better fitting, desired, and well-adapted products and services for elderly people.

5. References

Moritz, E.F., (2009); Holistische Innovation - Konzept, Methodik und Beispiele; Springer Verlag, Heidelberg


Next step consisted of defining the visionary system solution based in the user needs, user typologies and technological boundaries. The figure below shows the main concept of this visionary system. In the left hand side of it we can see all the unstructured information of the Internet, then our Social Software Integration Layer, takes and organizes the information, in order to provide only the information that the end user wants. In the figure we can see how the info reach the elderly in a very structured and easy way.



To know the user's requirement is a key aspect to design any product or service appealing for the users. The SI-Screen Elisa project a special effort has been made to include the user voice in the process of design and development of the solution, in order to enable the success of the project.

Regarding usability, users have been involved in two main usability assessments. The first one has been used to determine the best hardware to implement the ELISA system (following ISO9241-9). The second has been used to assess the interface of the Elisa prototype using SIMPLIT methodology. In addition to this an expert assessment was also performed to review check list of usability and accessibility of the interface.

The usability study was one of the key aspects of WP3. Two main activities summarises the work done in this field: (1) the usability test according to ISO 9241-9 and (2) the evaluation of the usability of the second prototype according to SIMPLIT methodology.

Usability test according to ISO9241-9.

This test was used to select the best hardware option to implement the ELISA system. To do so the test was performed by 30 older persons (15 in Germany and other 15 in Spain, 23 women and 7 men), with an average age of 65.7 years (from 57 to 91 years old). The participants involved in this test included all main typologies of users. 
The key data used for the selection and classification of the different devices were the users' preference and the number of errors. From the results of this test can be said that that bigger devices are preferred to small devices and the number of errors is related to the perception of the users. Older persons preferred the bigger devices producing less errors, from the devices tested (Samsung 10, Samsung 7, Sony P and Sony S), Samsung 10 was the one with offered best results. This one was selected to perform the development of the ELISA system.
See link section for more information on the results and methodology used..

SIMPLIT assessment

The main objective of this study is identifying if Elisa is intuitive, easy to use and usable for the elderly people. The methodology we used for achieving this objective is SIMPLIT . This method consists of explaining to the user the total number of tasks to be developed during the test detailing and enumerating them. 
The results of this test showed a quite positive value of usability from the user presepctive. The SIMPLIT methodology gives a combined score of effectiveness and efficiency from 0% (minimum simplicity of use) to 100% (maximum effectiveness and efficiency of use). The combined tasks analysed of the 2nd prototype of the ELISA system has scored a global value of 99.5%. A 100% was not achieved because the difficulties to perform T5 search an article.

This methodology allowed to identify positive aspects of Elisa to be emphasized:

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to understand
  • Quick to perform
  • Convenient because it offers many features in a single interface
  • Font size suitable

See link section for more information on SIMPLIT methodology..


SIMPLIT methodology

Paper : Evaluating Touchscreen Interfaces of Tablet Computers for Elderly People