UI Framework Design: HOMEdotOLD

Design of services for support of independently living older adults.

Challenges:  creating personalization parameters, API development, emotion reporting
Tools:  Photoshop, ceHTML, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL
Deliverables:  illustrated mock-ups, specification of API, design of database

Philips was involved in a project to offer their platform, NetTV, as an environment to deploy different services for older adults. These services allowed them to engage in different activities through their TV such as sharing pictures, joining social voluntary work, reading relevant news, etc.  The input of interaction with NetTV is a remote control, so all these activities had to be designed with this limitation in mind.

My role in this project included development of a personalization framework; a part of the system that would allow developers to personalize offered services for the end-user according to their self-reported emotional state. Before joining this project, I was already following it for some time due to its relevance to other projects related to older adults that I was involved in.

A challenge in this project was to find out what was the best way to measure emotion without sensors or cameras. Sensors are not suitable because they provide only very basic physiological data that is difficult to interpret. Cameras are also not adequate because they are very obtrusive and any expression they might record may not be representative of the user’s true emotional state. Considering all this, it was decided to create an interface element that would allow users to voluntarily report their emotion related to a service offered; how they felt in regards to the service that they were using at that moment. Finally, another challenge was to determine how to communicate different range of emotions in a brief, language independent way. Some existing solutions were studied, but in the end, a set of most relevant emotions was collected through a combination of online survey and card-sorting techniques.

My deliverable was an API that allowed developers to easily insert the emotion evaluation interface element in their NetTV websites as well as easily poll collected data that could be used for customization of the offered services. The project was in the evaluation phase as of 2011.

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