This week we discussed empathetic design for older individuals. This subject was very informative and interesting because there is a so much opportunity for the market of catering and design for the elderly in terms of everyday utilities, new technological improvements and clothing design to help meet the increasing issues in older adults. As people grow older within the age demographics of 65+ they tend to face many issues including arthritis, aging of eyes, and problems with their overall mobility and flexibility. In addition, there is dementia and other issues with memory and vision. During our interview, we talked about what the day to day life is for elderly adults and what the common issues they face. With the GERT suit it is very beneficial what they encounter such as problems reaching to things, bending down, gripping objects, and seeing clearly. The GERT suit includes eight different googles to try on with eight different vision problems that can occur for the elderly. One thing we discussed was how important color packaging and signage is for them to see as their vision can have a very hard time distinguishing different colors and tones.
The next exercise of the week was Design Slam II, my group had to create a solution for an elderly man who loved to window shop for suits and shoes yet he was colorblind and had a hard time with color coordination. So me and my learning community came up with an app and a device that allowed them to communicate with their own personal stylist who would pick out outfits for them based on that individual’s particular taste. The customer could either chose from a series of styles and tell their personal stylist what they liked or they can take pictures of garments and the personal stylist will identify the colors and coordinating pieces to go with it. The device/app would act as the eyes of the customer in order to coordinate pieces and outfits and basically be the eyes for the individual. We wanted to include the fact that our target customer can still have independence in picking their own outfit as well as go out shopping instead of just online shopping. So we included a feature where they can go to the store and pick up the outfits that the personal stylist picked out for them. The idea is actually very plausible, but the development of the app would be expensive to develop and would require quite a bit of research and expertise. Due to the fact that it is a new technical innovation we would have to include a very informative tutorial to be elder-friendly.
Two other ideas I really liked was from the group who redesigned the store flooring and layout for one blind female, who enjoyed shopping. I felt like it was an interesting, yet expensive idea for one individual, yet could help bring in a population or target market for people with similar disabilities. I also really liked the idea of using velcro buttons for button up dress shirts for the Johnny Depp example. As people grow older and problems like arthritis start to occur, the hands become more shaky and it is very difficult to use small buttons to button a shirt. Velcro is very sturdy and easy, simple solution for empathic design for an elderly adult.