My intent was to focus on the user to define a problem that he or she might face as a result of Raynaud’s. The original problem I found stemmed from post-activity coldness which triggered regular Raynaud’s attacks in a particular group of people (runners) and I aimed to base the solution on their collective feedback of what was the quickest, or in some cases the only, way to get their blood circulation back; a warm shower.
Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK advises:
To help manage Raynaud’s during winter sports, try to warm up as quickly as possible. Do avoid warming your body over extreme heat such as fires or by putting hands on heaters as this may cause chilblains.
Cathy is an avid runner and hiker:
“I basically can’t really do anything when it’s bad. It’s one of the main reasons I stopped hiking. The pain was so bad when the blood started to rush back. In relation to the phone…. I basically can’t use it at all until the blood circulates again. Warm water all the way, extra clothes are useless. Some years are worse than others for some reason.”
When I am finished my run, I want to turn the water heat on in my house, from my phone, so that I can have a shower as soon as I get home and get my circulation back
My original focus was on the home heating app Climote and it was from this point of view that I based my user research on.
They boast that their app is “The digital version of the time-clock on your wall” which, on receiving 3/5 and 2/5 respectively, was one of the biggest complaints of users on both Google Play and Apple Store:
- Worst useless control, manual controls much easier.
- literally took the existing analogue controls and digitised them…..badly. No additional options, just 20th century technology, in app form, without the reliability
- Lacking compatibility with google home / Alex’s. Not good compared to other apps.
- It won’t work half the time we have to turn it on manually
- My old analog timer panel from the 80s allowed more pre-programmed time slots.
I examined the app and found it had 9 heuristic violations, did not comply with 6 of the 9 Principles of accessibility and failed on all 4 Principles Web Content Accessibility Guidelines according to W3.org
See Appendix for heuristic evaluation
Scenario – As is
It’s Sunday morning and Cathy has just got to her car after a lovely cold, wet 10 mile run in the Dublin mountains, it was freezing and she got soaked, now she can’t feel her hands or feet, her Raynaud’s has kicked in again.
She rubs her hands together, blows on them and turns the heat right up in the car, but she knows from experience the only thing to make the circulation come back is a warm shower.
Her husband is not home and she forgot to set the water for a shower. Sitting on one hand to try warm it up, she calls up the home heating app on her phone. She can just about get her thumb to move, all her other fingers have stiffened up completely and her hand can barely move.
The interface on the app is not easy to use with one hand, the buttons are small and fiddly and the old fashioned looking skeuomorphic dial is too awkward to use to set the boost for the water heat.
The screen is hard to see in the bright, winter sunlight too.
She decides to leave it til she gets home and use the manual thing on the wall instead, it’s always easier than the app anyway.
She is cold and annoyed. It shouldn’t be so hard. She ends up burning her hand while waiting on the heat.
Scenario – To be
Task flow, as is (boost water at home)
Task flow, to be (boost water at home)
See Appendix for more on this scenario and task flow
Nest | Ember | Neatmo | Tado | Hive
After presenting to class, on 15 November, and from talking to tutors, I decided to focus on prevention rather than cure.
I feel it will be a much more interesting and beneficial project to examine current digital device learning abilities in relation to adaptation for accessibility and universal design by tracking and pre-empting Raynaud’s attacks and using the phone as a tool to help users manage their illness and avoid it’s symptoms.
My Raynaud’s app
- Satisfaction an easy, pleasant and natural user journey
- Informative feedback through tasks and error
- Clear language and visuals
- Enjoyable to use
- Consistent interface and standards
Scenario & task flow: