Abstract

When ageing has become an inevitable social issue, the concept of age-friendly city is increasingly advocated around the world, as we attempt to design information and social services that are accessible and comprehensible for the elderly. On the contrary to this trend, there is a design-related problem in Hong Kong’s medicine services that have long led to poor performances in medication administration for the elderly. In response to the issue, our design students were required to develop a series of prototypes from the users’ perspectives that centred around redesigning medicine labels and enhancing positive experience in medication administration for the elderly. However, it becomes challenging for design students who have developed in designer-centric mind-set but less experience in designing for older people. In this project, students need to be taught reach beyond an emphasis in beautifying design, and to bring end-users to the centre of the design development process. With no prior experience of user-centred design and training in observation skills, students were first motivated to raise their level of curiosity and sensitivity towards objects and people around, through the simple, easy and intriguing observational exercise of documenting the lifespan of beans. Throughout the 13-week course period, they conducted user tests with the elderly users and have learned how to pay close attention to their subtle gestures and expressions. Students finally verified the optimal medicine label design and developed final prototype with compelling solutions towards medication administration for senior citizens.

Keywords:

ageing, observation, prototyping, medication administration, user-centred design

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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Jul 9th, 12:00 AM

From Observing Beans to Serving the Elderly: Prototyping Medication Administration for The Elderly in Hong Kong

When ageing has become an inevitable social issue, the concept of age-friendly city is increasingly advocated around the world, as we attempt to design information and social services that are accessible and comprehensible for the elderly. On the contrary to this trend, there is a design-related problem in Hong Kong’s medicine services that have long led to poor performances in medication administration for the elderly. In response to the issue, our design students were required to develop a series of prototypes from the users’ perspectives that centred around redesigning medicine labels and enhancing positive experience in medication administration for the elderly. However, it becomes challenging for design students who have developed in designer-centric mind-set but less experience in designing for older people. In this project, students need to be taught reach beyond an emphasis in beautifying design, and to bring end-users to the centre of the design development process. With no prior experience of user-centred design and training in observation skills, students were first motivated to raise their level of curiosity and sensitivity towards objects and people around, through the simple, easy and intriguing observational exercise of documenting the lifespan of beans. Throughout the 13-week course period, they conducted user tests with the elderly users and have learned how to pay close attention to their subtle gestures and expressions. Students finally verified the optimal medicine label design and developed final prototype with compelling solutions towards medication administration for senior citizens.

 

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