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process narrative

Andrew Siu Medical Products Louise St.Pierre/Eugenia Bertulis

Table of Content empathetic studies research: phase 1 concept: phase 1 prototype: phase 1 research: phase 2 prototype: phase 2 research: phase 3 prototype: phase 3 re-iteration manufacturing

empathetic studies

patricia moore project

Our class undertook a three-day empathic studies inspired by industrial designer, Patricia Moore Everyday living cooking grooming toilet dressing driving

Chores dishes laundry cleaning

Outings grocery friends shopping

The outcome of the project helped me better understand the mental and physical challenges of performing everyday tasks. Frustrations, insecurities and emotive qualities of my restricted joints impacted me more significantly than physical limitations.

Design in the Dark Andrew Siu. Billy Lam. Paige Vanderkemp. Scott Piekema.

process. We played individual games with “hide and seek” with blinfolds based on using non-visual cues (positive and negative reinforcement) for wayfinding. We foresee the outcome of our experiment being executed to help persons with visual impairment to help navigate themselves around unfamiliar territory with auditory responses.

methods. Blindness: Eliminating sight by wrapping bandages around our eyes. Wayfinding: Placing random objects in the classroom in specified random places


Negative reinforcement: Hissing and “booing” when the subject walked in the wrong direction

Positive reinforcement task: We unanimously found this the most difficult wayfinding system. It was the most challenging navigating through the silence and lack of response.

Positive reinforcement: Clapping and cheering when subject walked toward the right direction. Positive/Negative reinforcement: Combining both of the methods above.

Negative reinforcement: When walking in the right direction, it was silent. We felt less lost having noise surrounding us. We found this a happy medium between a calming environment and detailed navigation instructions.

Positive/Negative reinforcement: Although this was the most efficient method. The constant noise was irritable and caused a stressful situation for the subjects.

research: phase 1

meet matthew

Matthew is a charming and excitable 16-year old with cerebral palsy. His positive attitude and ongoing happiness is a constant source of inspiration for everyone who meets him.

While searching for concepts for my project, I tried to observe any needs for Matthew that may not be addressed which included: physicalities, wheelchair accessibilities, interactions with caregivers and educators, play, learning, and communication. From initial observations, I decided to address Matthew’s current means of communication and his current learning techniques with his caregiver.

educators and caregivers

The approach to understanding Matthew was challenging and unique. Although he is my primary stakeholder for this project, most of the meaningful feedback come from the wonderful and considerate teaching staff at Fleetwood Park Secondary. Along with answering key questions, the staff facilitated my access to Matthew and allowed me to participate in several classroom activities with him and his classmates.


tactile communication devices

electronic communication devices

interactive electronic devices

Investigating tactile methods that offer very simple means of communication.

Investigating how tactile methods can be translated electronically.

Investigating users with limited mobility can interact with communication devices.

Searching for use of colour and textures for inspiration.

Searching for portability, versatility and ease of use, how messages are output.

Searching for interface, interaction, easability

Very little devices that offer one-handed ways to speak.

Devices are too small and difficult for Matthew.

Devices look too complex for Matthew to interpret.

concept: phase 1

concept drawings

Trying to facilitate methods that Matthew may be able to use tactile methods of communication Looking into curtain shades, books, snaps, magnets, grips The challenge became more about how he would be able to put items away more than how he could remove them

I explored the possibility of an assistive learning tool for both Matthew and his caregiver. Normally when a caregiver writes, he should hold the back of the pencil with the concept that he should be directing the writing as she stabilizes it. I began searching for ways that would engage him more in his learning and improve the ergonomics for the caregiver.

Inspired by the interaction course I took last semester and the interactive wearables exhibit that took place in the Concourse Gallery over the Olympics, I began to explore the possibility of interactive technologies to help Matthew with his communication.

To explore the possibilities of electronics, I would have to research Matthew’s range of motion and physical state further. I would also need to look into how well he could communicate sign language and discover other means in which he communicates.

prototype: phase 1

concept 1: arm band interface using magnetic sensor and a magnet (trigger) to communicate information. using the mobile right hand and less mobile left hand. i liked the concept of engaging his left arm and safety arm bands

concept 2: arm reach signalling matthew reaches out to grab someone when he wants attention. this concept was to have a proximity sensor hidden under a cuff. when he reaches out the sensor activates and LEDs on his left arm light up.

concept 3: sign language enhancer matthew can perform some select sign language, most of which are interactions with his chest. a magnet would be placed on his chest and activated by sensors placed on various areas of his hand.

research: phase 2

generative research: new challenges: what messages does matthew want to communicate? can this device be more universal? spring break (no access to the educators and caregivers) illness (Matthew becomes sick with pneumonia)

to compensate:


create a generative research method and involve nondesigners.

create signs with messages matthew can communicate limit persons to only communicating “yes”, “no”, “thanks you” and “please”

generative research results: what was the one message you wanted to communicated but could not? what was most frustrating about the situation? what did you do to replace the words you could not communicate?

“pass the butter” “i love you” “more booze”

simple wants and needs

“when i wanted something” “not being able to say ‘i’m frustrated’”

emotions and feelings

facial expressions hand gestures

gestures and physical expressions

new set of precedence following research: “design for communication can be both simple and profound” less laborious of communicating frutrations with a button that communicates “SOD OFF”

“The Boezels are furry animals developed for snoezelen therapy. They are not only made for mentally challenged people, but they are also produced by a workshop for mentally challenged people.”

“Outsourcing is an expressive shape-shifting hood that references the senses and feelings of a person in an abstract way.”

prototype: phase 2

“i flirt . . .” device Based on the “SOD OFF” project, i developed a flirt device for Matthew because he is an adolescent. The sign language for “flirt” are fingers twiddling, mimicking eyelashes batting. This device would replace the finger motion.

“i want . . .” device

Based on generative research, I also attempted to create a device that would help point out items Matthew could “want”. By tapping the sensor on his chest, he could activate a signalling and pointing device to help express himself.

research: phase 3

understanding Matthew’s cognitive challenges Educators referred me to to investigate the scope of Matthew’s cognitive ability. The website is a educational tool for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Activities, colours and games help stimulate a learning

understanding Matthew’s cognitive challenges During the course of the project, specialists decided to transition Matthew to an augmentative communication device.

The challenge for educators is training Matthew the idea of “cause and effect� because he does not understand that pushing a button on these devices elicits a communication

Learning this new information set more interesting and challenging parameters for my project. Specialists also recently discovered that Matthew may be colour blind therefore educators also needed to train him based on visual symbols.

understanding & participating in educational techniques Wheel of fortune Students pick letters until a mystery sentence is spelled out on the board. Use of roughly textured alphabet on cards Understanding touch sense learning Dancing game Students dance until the music stops. Matthew controls the on/off switch. Understanding Matthew’s motivation is social engagement.

understanding & participating in educational techniques Arts & Crafts We made Valentine’s cards and Easter baskets. Matthew should be choosing the items on his crafts. Silent Ball Students must stay silent and toss a ball to one another. You are “out� if you make a noise or miss catching the ball. Understanding patience and attentiveness.

Understanding decision-making

prototype: phase 3

moving texture into ideation

begins as gestural communication

configures to visual communication

negate session

In class, we held a “negate” session where we left post it notes on each other’s project panels for peer review. Many in the class were confused about my project and felt it was too complicated. If classmates could not interpret my project, I wondered how Matthew would be able to.

I had to re-evaluate my criteria for this project and prioritize and edit a lot of the content.


edit, prioritize, reconcile consistency means to communicate motivation what to communicate patience universal attentiveness learning tool negative reinforcement immediate results positive reinforcement long term results decision-making transitional tool intuitive gestural intention visual communicative waiting/listening touch sensitive

After consulting Genevieve Mateyko and Pamela Troyer who designed the “Detect Air”, I drew inspiration from the use of haptic feedback and researched the learning benefits from it. Research suggests that a combination of haptic and visual feedback can be a powerful way of learning for the cognitive impaired. “haptics can be used in a variety of empirical settings to enhance learning, modulate human response to assist task completion, present a theoretical framework and improve the self-esteem of physically challenged individuals.”

form and graphic exploration

Convinced that a glove was too small to act as a signaller, larger wearables were considered. Shoulder wearables options were discarded after noticing his tiny frame . The device would need to be attached to a shirt, vest, sweater.

finalizing concept Vibration that buzzes against his chest to help reinforce the idea that he triggering the device. This can help him better understand “cause and effect� relationships. A hall effect (magnetic) sensor is placed on his chest, the area where he mostly touches with his hand when performing sign language or gesturing for attention LED lights signal someone for attention bringing back the concept of social engagement as a motivator Magnet (trigger) puts Matthew in control, only he can activate it when he places his hand by his chest. This will make the device consistent because he needs to learn that he controls the input

The lights and vibration buzzer will speed up the longer he holds the magnet to the hall effect sensor. This will display different levels of urgency.


programming & wiring This process required a lot of testing and code writing. I went through several iterations of different programs before being able to find an appropriate “Distiller “ code to perform the actions that I needed

// fade out from max to min in increments of 5 points: for(int fadeValue = 255 ; fadeValue >= 10; fadeValue -=5) { // sets the value (range from 0 to 255): analogWrite(ledPin, fadeValue); // wait for 30 milliseconds to see the dimming effect delay(30); } break; for(int fadeValue = 10; fadeValue <= 255; fadeValue +=5) { // sets the value (range from 0 to 255): analogWrite(ledPin, fadeValue); // wait for 30 milliseconds to see the dimming effect delay(30); } // fade out from max to min in increments of 5 points: for(int fadeValue = 255 ; fadeValue >= 10; fadeValue -=5) { // sets the value (range from 0 to 255): analogWrite(ledPin, fadeValue);

void setup() { Serial.begin(9600); // connect to the serial port pinMode(digPin, INPUT); pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT); pinMode(buzzPin, OUTPUT); } void loop() {

// run over and over again

val = digitalRead(digPin); // read the Hall Effect Sensor if (val == 1) { digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW); } else if (val == 0) { digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH); // sets the LED on delay(delayTime); // waits for a second digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW); // sets the LED off delay( delayTime= delayTime * multiplyByFactor); // waits for a second


Once the program was sorted out, the wiring and electronics were placed into the wearable with tape and thread. The Arduino currently sits in the front pocket. From a practical standpoint, I would have used a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lilypadâ&#x20AC;? to replace the Arduino board and the wires would have been more considered. For most electronic wearables, there should also be a fabric (like felt) for insulation.

esthetics The electronic component of this project inspired the digital look of the graphic on the wearable with respect to Matthewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s age and personality. It also emphasizes the idea of connections. It was then heat pressed onto a hoodie using velvet flocking. The touch of the flocking can also be used for tactile learning. The overall look attempted to reflect mood boards that we assembled for our panels.

Gesture - Medical Design  
Gesture - Medical Design  

An interactive communication device for cerebral palsy youth