A service design concept and app that connects socially isolated seniors to volunteers who listen to, capture and publish their stories.
In collaboration with Arthur Carabott, Sreelakshmi V Menon and Israel Gbati
Research & Empathy
To be able to design for senior citizens in New York, we regularly visited the senior center in Brooklyn where we met, interviewed and tested our ideas and prototypes with some of the visitors. We were surprised to find that many of the seniors had no one to talk to or rely on in their lives. The senior center was their only place for social interaction. With an ageing population we need to establish services and systems to prevent social isolation. STORIES FROM... is an attemt at doing so.
Testing the critical function
After we had designed the core concept of our idea, a volunteering service to record oral history and capture personal stories, we tested the service with Carol for several weeks, visiting her at home, listening to her stories and capturing these for her. One of the most insightful learnings was that it wasn’t easy to find the interesting stories but that the right tools could really make a difference. Based on the testing we developed the app and workspace to help capture powerful stories.
Based on our user journey, we structured the service into three main phases: Making connections, capturing stories and sharing stories. For each of these phases, STORIES FROM... offers different services and tools. Regular local events and online registration help create the right match, the story app and online tools support the volunteers in capturing and writing. The online database and publishing service then help spread the word.
The app reflects the service design. There’s a matching section, a recording function, a workspace to draft and review stories and a stories section to browse by keyword or category. We prototyped the app using inVision and tested it with several potential users.