A research for Pick Up App – research can change your project plan

This research happened when I studied UX/UI design and come out the idea of design an App to help the senior person in the North American winter. During the research, my plan changed.

Check the App in my Portfolio

 

Here is my original plan report

Every winter, thousands of seniors injure themselves while shoveling snow, with slips, falls, hypothermia, frostbite, and muscle strain the usual causes. Many people, especially seniors, can underestimate the time, strength and stamina it takes to shovel snow. But, according to government policy, it is a homeowner’s responsibility to clear snow from sidewalks on his or her property, so seniors often feel compelled to take steps to shovel the snow. Moreover, if an emergency vehicle needs to access a house and the snow is not cleared, it could cause a significant delay in necessary treatment. Experts recommend that seniors and others who may have physical challenges find help removing snow from sidewalks, driveways, and entryways [1].

The demographic profile of Nova Scotia is changing, and seniors are representing a bigger part of the population. In 2003, The number of seniors in Nova Scotia is estimated to be 129,200, or 13.7% of the population. Between 2007 and 2033, the seniors’ population (65 years and older) is projected to increase by 86 percent, from approximately 15 percent to 29 percent of the total population [2].

With a high percentage of the senior person, Apparently, many seniors prefer to hire someone or ask a friend or neighbor to shovel snow, rather than risk injury. But even that, there are not enough people that can always there to help.

In another hand, with the low population density in Nova Scotia, people sometimes don’t know if any senior needs a hand for remove snow.

 

Option 1

The plan of design an app that seniors can poster their request or ask for someone that can help shovel snow will be possibly an uncomplicated way to let people know there is senior around that need help. It can also bring the community together and this is an effective way to start.

This App will be used by 2 kinds of users: individual volunteer and individual senior.

As a minimum viable product plan, this app will only provide two options to let senior poster their request for shoveling in the winter and lawn care in the summer.

 

Option 2

An advance plan to the option 1 will be including 4 kinds of users: individual volunteer, a volunteer group, individual senior, and senior community group.

This plan will allow groups to poster their information, which can be a platform for communication between local volunteers and senior groups.

 

Option 3

This plan will be larger than the other two.

An app focuses on streets and neighbors, with this app, anyone can poster their housework requirement, provide a price to hire neighbors to help. The information posted can only be seen by people nearby (such as in 500m diameter).

The information posted can be not only for a small house work, also can be tool rental or borrow, community events, house parties, and other news in this area.

In addition to that, people with authority (can be the senior or disabled person) can post “honor task”, with honor task complete, people who did the tasks can get a certificate from local volunteer group or other different kind awards.

 

[1] http://www.comfortkeepers.com/home/info-center/articles/ThinkBeforeYouShovel?group=43

[2] A Statistical profile of Nova Scotia seniors, 2003. Published: Health Canada, 2003

 

And here is my first research report

Last updated: 10 March 2018

Every winter, thousands of seniors injure themselves while shoveling snow, with slips, falls, hypothermia, frostbite, and muscle strain the usual causes. Many people, especially seniors, can underestimate the time, strength and stamina it takes to shovel snow. But, according to government policy, it is a homeowner’s responsibility to clear snow from sidewalks on his or her property, so seniors often feel compelled to take steps to shovel the snow. Moreover, if an emergency vehicle needs to access a house and the snow is not cleared, it could cause a significant delay in necessary treatment. Experts recommend that seniors and others who may have physical challenges find help removing snow from sidewalks, driveways, and entryways [1].

The demographic profile of Nova Scotia is changing, and seniors are representing a bigger part of the population. In 2003, The number of seniors in Nova Scotia is estimated to be 129,200, or 13.7% of the population. Between 2007 and 2033, the seniors’ population (65 years and older) is projected to increase by 86 percent, from approximately 15 percent to 29 percent of the total population [2].

With a high percentage of the senior person, Apparently, many seniors prefer to hire someone or ask a friend or neighbor to shovel snow, rather than risk injury. But even that, there are not enough people that can always there to help.

In another hand, with the low population density in Nova Scotia, people sometimes don’t know if any senior needs a hand for remove snow.

 

Goal

The plan of design an app that seniors can poster their request or ask for someone that can help shovel snow will be possibly an uncomplicated way to let people know there is senior around that need help. It can also bring the community together and this is an effective way to start.

 

Research Questions

Users of the app will be including individual volunteer, a volunteer group, individual senior, and senior community group.

 

For individual volunteer and volunteer group:

  1. Would you like to help senior shovel snow? Why?
  2. Did you do that before? If yes, could you describe your experience?

 

For individual senior, and senior community group:

  1. How old are you?
  2. How you or your community shovel snow?
  3. Would you like someone to help you shovel snow? Why?
  4. Any good or bad experience on that?

 

Methodology 

A usability study will be taken based on a face to face interview.

 

Participants 

During this week, I’ve talked with 3 senior families in my neighborhood.

  1. Laura, 66, living alone with 3 cats and 1 dog, rarely shovel snow.
  2. and Mrs. Liang, 70 and 63, hire a local snow removal company for $70.00 each time.
  3. Deb and Julia, 59 and 62, own a snow blower but barely use because it’s hard to control.

And talked with a volunteer team funder:

  1. Mike Lee, 31, funder of V-Care volunteer team.

There is a plan to talk with some senior communities (Community Links: http://nscommunitylinks.ca/,  Serving Senior: https://www.servingseniors.info/) and individual volunteer/young person next week.

Recruiting: begins on March 8, 2018

Results delivery: March 18, 2018

 

After talking with a mentor, the research question was changed, I’d ask a much opener question, which made the whole result changed.

Here is my second research report

Last updated: 19 March 2018

 

Version update: For this research, more person is visited, the question asked is more open, not only focus on snow removal. With those open questions, other problems for the senior show in an obvious way. Let have a much deep understanding of senior’s life in winter, their concerns, and their needs.

 

Background 

In 2003, The number of seniors in Nova Scotia is estimated to be 129,200, or 13.7% of the population. Between 2007 and 2033, the seniors’ population (65 years and older) is projected to increase by 86 percent, from approximately 15 percent to 29 percent of the total population [1].

With a high percentage of the senior person, during the winter of Nova Scotia, bad situations happen everywhere, even worse for the senior person. The younger person needs to do something to help seniors, it is a very important thing to maintain the community and society.

 

Goal

The plan to design an app that seniors can poster their request or ask for someone that can help will be possibly an uncomplicated way to let people know there is senior around that need help. It can also bring the community together and this is an effective way to start.

 

Research Questions

Users of the app will be including individual volunteer (2 interviews done), volunteer group (1 done), individual senior (3 done, 2 visited last time will do a revisiting Thursday), and senior community group (still waiting for a reply from them).

 

For individual volunteer and volunteer group:

  1. General information. How old are you? What is your educational level? Etc
  2. Would you like to help the senior person? How and Why?
  3. Any issues noticed about the senior person?
  4. Did you tried to do something for your senior neighbors? If yes, could you describe your experience?
  5. Any point of view about volunteers you aware of?
  6. Anything else you think volunteers can do?

 

For individual senior, and senior community group:

  1. General information. How old are you? What is your educational level? Etc.
  2. Any issue/problem you have in the winter? Any good/unpleasant experience?
  3. Did you look for help from volunteers? Why or why not?
  4. Who will you normally look for help if anything happens?
  5. Anything you think senior or young volunteers can do?
  6. Are you able to use smartphone apps or use a computer?

 

Methodology 

A usability study will be taken based on a face to face interview.

 

Participants 

During this week, I’ve spoken to 3 seniors at the school. As teachers and TAs, the three seniors are more educated in their background, it is a limitation with this interview.

But in another hand, Canada has the highest education level in the world, and Halifax as a university city, the majority population in this city is students and school workers. most people here are highly educated and able to use a smartphone and computer.

 

During the last week, I’ve talked with 3 senior families in my neighborhood.

  1. Laura, 66, living alone with 3 cats and 1 dog, rarely shovel snow.
  2. and Mrs. Liang, 70 and 63, hire a local snow removal company for $70.00 each time.
  3. Deb and Julia, 59 and 62, own a snow blower but barely use because it’s hard to control. (will visit them later this week to gain more information with the new questions)

And talked with a volunteer team funder:

  1. Mike Lee, 31, funder of V-Care volunteer team.

There is a plan to talk with some senior communities (Community Links: http://nscommunitylinks.ca/,  Serving Senior: https://www.servingseniors.info/) and individual volunteer/young person next week.

 

This week, I did three surveys with seniors at the school, here are their information and a new summary of the survey.

Joe, 66, Professor of booking binding and letterpress, has 6 postgraduate degrees. He lives by himself with a cat, his TA, Katherine (36, live with her boyfriend, owns three cats) also intended Joe’s survey.

Jeff, 67, artist, has two workshops in downtown, lives by himself, likes to cook for himself, always have a big, well-cooked meal for breakfast and supper.

Larry, 74, Master of Fine Art student, after selling his house, he is now living in an apartment with his wife. Traveling to meet friends and families a lot.

 

In the winter, snow is really a big issue for the senior person. All the three participants mentioned that, but they don’t think that is the biggest problem. As the snow is a daily common thing, they are OK to hire someone or pay their neighbors to shovel the snow, or they can just not leave home and waiting for government’s very-slow service, or just leave the snow there waiting for melt.

All the participants say the largest problem for them will be the grocery. During winter, with snow on driveway and sidewalk, it is very hard for senior to go get grocery, especially they need to carry the bags home. Even Larry has a car, he thought it still is very dangerous for the old person like him to drive in a snow weather to get grocery.

The other thing Larry told is senior’s health during winter. In the winter, it is much easy for the senior person to get sick, but it is the time senior person least want to go out, and hardest to visit their doctor. He is hoping there is someone can pick him to doctor regularly during winter.

Jeff used to work in a volunteer group. His concern is more about companionship with the senior person. He mentioned there is a group in a village called Age Concern, which can gather senior person and organize some activity for them, but since that is a small village, that is easy for them to know each other. Jeff also thinks the senior person has a lot of experience in their lives, they will be willing to share it with the younger person. And people should be more careful with volunteers who help them. He had some bad experience when he worked as a volunteer, he says that someone sometimes sees the favors volunteers did as what they should do.

Joe’s opinion to get someone to help makes him feels bad, he doesn’t want other people to treat him like an old person and cannot do anything. Joe has a lot of students, some students live close will take care of him, and he thinks that’s good enough with it. He doesn’t want to bother people too much.

Recruiting: begins on March 8, 2018

Rough Idea: it seems an app to call for snow shovel is not working at all after this time’s survey. The app can still be a task post app, but with the requirement of picking up something, things can be grocery from the market, can be a person need to visit their doctor, or a package from community mailbox if possible.

Results delivery: March 30, 2018

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