Navigation for Seniors

Mobility Safety for the Elderly

Mobility scooters are a popular method of senior transportation in Taiwan.

There are several safety issues surrounding current mobility scooters.

I used UX design and research methods to build a dashboard setup that would be easy for seniors to use and would promote greater safety while traveling. 

This was a collaborative effort between industrial design and engineering teams at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan.

Background
The elderly face challenges when traveling in Taiwanese cities that lack public transit systems.
Mobility scooters have gained popularity among seniors.
These scooters have a number of advantages over traditional scooters, bicycles, and cars:
  • Easy to operate
  • Electric
  • Slow
  • Can be used in residential areas
  • Low physical demand
  • Quiet
  • Clean
Elderly Mobility Scooter Disembark
Mobility scooters also have some characteristics that could endanger users and others on the road.
  • Batteries can die
    • users could be stranded
  • No map
    • easy to become lost
  • Difficult to see
    • increased risk of collision
  • Different pace from other vehicles
    • increased risk of collision
Current Interface
  • Simple design
  • Small buttons
  • No clear marking or description of buttons
Mobility Scooter Interface
Design Considerations
  • Maintain simplicity
  • Keep analog / tactile features
  • Larger buttons
  • More understandable UI
  • Reduce low battery risk
  • Reduce risk of getting lost
  • Reduce risk of accidents
Development
After engaging in user interviews and observing usage behavior, it was evident that certain characteristics and overall familiarity needed to be preserved.
 
Simplicity needed to be inherent in any proposed design. Furthermore, tactile buttons needed to be used.
Proposed Features
  • Integrated screen - to show helpful information to the operator
    • Mapping​
    • Speed
    • Battery Level
    • Warnings
  • Mapping software​​
    • GPS enabled​
    • Distance mapping with low-battery integration
  • Easy turn signal buttons
  • Low-dexterity speed control
  • Safety Lighting
Mobility Scooter Module Concept - Adam Book
Final Steps
Software features were constructed within an Android platform. 
I had completed utility concepts, sketches, and 2D files. These were used by a team member to build the 3D module.
This module housed internal hardware, external physical buttons, and supported the visual interface.
Mobilty Module Concept 2D - Adam Book
Results
A lighting system that had automatic features, and was also integrated with the module, had been applied to the mobility scooter. Once assembly was complete, the scooter was taken through testing, and feature interactions were refined.
This project was successful in achieving a safer and more visible scooter. Furthermore, ease of use was preserved by using larger buttons and removing demands for direct screen input. These positive characteristics can be attributed to the inclusion of elderly users throughout the design process.
Mobility Scooter Enhancements

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