Interviews, emphatic modeling techniques, a fair visit and an online survey helped to familiarize with the user group of people with visual impairments. The found insights were basis for an ideation workshop that brought up various ideas. I discussed the most promising ones in a focus group session with people representing the target group in order to filter out the concept idea and main requirements.
The thee main innovations for people with visual impairments: tactile turn by turn navigation, localizing objects by sound proximity and localizing objects by 3D sound are visualized above. Prototyping and testing these new ways of interaction helped to refine and optimize them. Feedback from the people representing the target group and their insights in everyday life use, served as valuable input for the final functions and design.
tactile turn by turn navigation
localizing objects by 3D sound
localizing objects by sound proximity
The design of REY and its experience follows four main principles that I discovered throughout the research and are essential for the target group. Greatest focus is given to simple and distinct use, to follow the two senses principle (both in product setup as well as use) and in keeping order and following rituals.
For covering the whole use scenario a home charging cradle for the wearable product rounds off the offering. The station is designed to support users in daily rituals and help them keep order, helping to easily locate and find back the product. Converting the cradle into a practical casing makes it easy to take REY along while traveling, having the charing possibility always at hand.
In the last focus group sessions, I could show the final models to potential users, which was a great experience. Together we discussed a lot of diverse personal use cases, that highlighted the individuality of REY and its potential to turn user pains into actual gains.
„The problems, that people with visual impairments face are various and difer strongly depending on their eye condition, personal attitude and life situation. "REY" is a wearable speech assistant that supports users in various tasks and can therefore solve problems very individually. We are confident, that "REY" is a honorable winner for the James Dyson Awards 2018 and wish Clara Fessler a lot of sucess for her project."
Eberhard Schrempf - managing director Creative Industries Styria (translated from German)