Senior chat app
( December 2021)
Senior is a chat app, for seniors. We built the app to serve the needs of seniors, who often feel that apps are too complicated. Many other apps have too many features they feel are useless, while other, necessary features are not available. Our goal is to build a chat app for them.
02 User Research
We conducted research, interviewed key users, and sent out a digital survey to gain an understanding of users’ pain points.
Other necessary features
Too much features
Hard to read
Hard to see
Complicated to use
0 3 6 9 12 15
Survey results indicated that every respondent knew some seniors who had problems using their chat app.
I framed 10 questions for the one-on-one interviews. I conducted interviews of 10 people to understand their mindsets and intentions for communication platforms. I focused on challenges or difficulties they faced in the past, along with preferences for features they liked. The following are some of those questions.
1. What method do you usually use to talk to your family and friends?
2. Do you use one chat app, or switch between several? Why?
3. Does your favorite chat app satisfy all your needs? If not, what other features do you need?
4. What makes you dislike other chat apps?
5. Do you think a "remote admin" feature would be helpful?
To enjoy her retired life.
To share in her kids' lives through visits and chats.
To share her moments with her friends and family members.
She feels frustrated when using complicated app interfaces.
Text in the apps is very difficult to read.
She has difficulty remembering how to use the app.
He feels frustrated by the overly complicated User Experiences of some apps.
Text in the apps can be too small and difficult to read.
He has difficulty hearing message notifications.
To enjoy his retirement.
To have good chats with his daughter.
To chat with his fishing group.
User Journey Map
Open the app
Enter the message
Some apps are too complicated to use. Even though they were told how to use it, it's easy to forget.
They prefer a bigger font, which is easier to read for older people.
They have difficulties reading a lot of text on such a small phone screen. A screen reader would be very helpful.
"Remote admin" is a helpful feature, as long as it is easy to use.
Define The Problems
I conducted interviews and created personas to understand the users I'm designing for, and their needs. The primary user group I identified through my research was older people, because they have difficulty using many apps and websites.
This user group confirmed initial assumptions about Senior's users, but research also revealed that a complicated interface was not the only factor limiting user experiences. Other problems were too much text in the app, or small font sizes. Seniors tended to find small text difficult to read.
We looked into direct and indirect competitors from different angles: product offerings, unique value propositions, app experiences, features and accessibility. This competitive audit provided reliable evidence to solve usability problems and inform my design process.
Design, Test and Interate
Findings and Solutions
Determining if the Senior’s app is easy to use
Identifying reasons why users are going to use the app.
What are the questions the research is trying to answer?
What stops users from completing tasks?
Which parts does the user find confusing?
How long does it take for a user to complete a task?
Key performance indicators
Time on task
User error rates
Moderated Usability Study, conducted remotely with participants.
Location: United States, China, Australia. Each participant will complete the study in their own home.
Date: Sessions will take place on December 11 and December 13
Length: Each session will last 20 to 30 minutes, based on a list of prompts
Early designs only allowed for sending text and voice messages. After the usability studies, I added "text reader" and "zoom" features. I also replaced the small “send” button with a bigger red button.
Yellow and white failed the color contract checker, so I used yellow and black instead. I also replaced the modern icon with the more realistic one.
Early designs had standard settings, but after the usability studies, I added "SOS" and "Screen reader" features. SOS allows users to ask for help from a specific contact. Screen reader will read content for the user.
Screen Size Variety