November 17

  • User tested week of reminders with 2 participants
  • User tested subscription check-in with 2 participants
  • Visited On Lok Senior Center for on-site research
  • Attended Punchcut VUI workshop
  • Started swimlane flows

This week was very busy and filled with learnings!

For my week of reminder testing, I was calling and texting my participants every day. I set many alarms for myself to make sure I remind on time. I remember at one point, I was on the bus to visit On Lok (which I will talk about later) – it was very crowded and noisy, and I had to make a call. I got off the bus halfway to my destination, made the call, then caught the same bus again (there was a ton of traffic so I was able to walk to the next stop and catch it!).

All the alarms I set for myself 😂

Today was the final day for testing – I will be following up with my participants afterward to ask them about their experiences:

  • how useful they found the reminders
  • if they accomplished the tasks after being reminded
  • if the method of delivery for the reminders was effective

I also have another person who reached out to me about participating, but I need to write back to her and set this up. It’s a bit difficult because she doesn’t always carry a phone with her, so I’m not quite sure how to go about with this… Maybe just test reminders for when she is at home?

Kate also knows many people, and I still need to give her information to provide these people when she reaches out to them. It’s been a bit challenging to coordinate all these moving parts and do these personalized reminders, but it is very exciting!


On Tuesday, I visited On Lok Center. I think it was a bit late to visit for where I’m at in my project right now, and the majority of the participants in the elderly programs there are not my target audience (they are lower functioning), but I nonetheless had a wonderful visit and learned a ton. The staff were very kind, gave me tours, and answered all my questions. My main takeaways from the visit were how caregivers coordinated their task schedule for the residents, as well as how the Memory Care center was so carefully and thoughtfully designed for the participants with Alzheimers. It was an amazing experience and a wonderful connection for me.


I also did user testing for the subscription check-in prototype flow I made with two participants.

One of my younger participants

Here are my learnings and iterations to be implemented:

  • New intent: One participant asked “how do I cancel”, which I did not add in the flow.
  • New feature: If the assistant just gave the instructions, they would find it too complicated to do, which leads to a trusted contact I want to add
    • If the assistant is unable to help, instead of just saying “sorry, I can’t help with that”, they would ask to direct the question to a trusted contact (e.g. caregiver, family member, etc)
  • Additional intents:
    • “Can I resubscribe?”
    • “Is there a penalty for cancelling?”
  • Since the assistant is initiating the interaction, when would be appropriate?
    • A few days before the payment
    • When the user is doing something related to the payment (e.g. assistant asks when it detects user turning on the TV)
  • New principle: Build a relationship with the user – trust!
    • If the user received greetings/more human interactions from the assistant (e.g. daily email with positive encouragement/updates/word of the day/etc), they would feel more connected to the app
    • “Grow with the program”
  • New principle for visual interface: Make it as 1:1 with analogous artifacts as possible
    • E.g. the interface can resemble a day planner, and all the interactions would reflect how a user interacts with a day planner in real life (page flipping, etc)

Finally, I got to attend an amazing VUI workshop on Friday, hosted by Punchcut. Read more about my experience here.

One of the things I learned from the workshop was creating swimlane flows as an artifact to communicate how flows work, and all the actors involved. I think this is a super clear method of laying out all the actions and relationships between all the different parts, which I was having trouble expressing tangibly. I’ve started working on one for the subscription flow, and I will continue to do so.


Next week, I will be:

  • Debriefing with the two participants for weekly reminder testing
  • Iterating from learnings of the weekly reminder testing
  • Iterating the subscription flow
  • Continuing swim lane diagrams, as well as start logic flows, to document my prototypes more clearly

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