Design support paper based on WP2 accepted for an oral presentation at Alzheimer Europe 2023

The paper, submitted under the titel "Supporting companies to design better technological products for people living with dementia – a case study” by Francesca Toso and Rens Brankaert is accepted for an oral presentation at Alzheimer Europe 2023, taking place this October in Helsinki, Finland.  As we have learned in the project technology plays an important role in supporting a high quality of life for people with dementia living at home. In the paper submission we highlight how our project initiated and continues an international network that defined standards for technology in the context of dementia. We provided certificates in two rounds for products recognized for being beneficial and useful for people living with dementia - and as a follow up we offered to the companies a “Design support” service, in which we supported companies in improving their current product based on

1) Interaction,
2) Information,
3) Aesthetics and/or
4) Functionality.

Overall, in total nine companies involved in the project received design support based on the field data collected during the living lab activities. The design support was conducted by three professional designers by conducting the following process: 1) the results from the Living Lab study were analyzed and presented to the company, 2) the company and the designer selected the focus for the next phase, 3) several co-creation sessions took place to improve the aspects previously selected and eventually, and finally 4) the results were delivered to the company.

We found that companies appreciated the professional support since they often did not have the capacity or skills in-house to test, rethink or redesign their technology offering. One main finding was that companies were confident on the aspects related to functionality, but often required support on the products’ aesthetics or information provision. At the conference we will present the feedback on the design support activity relatively to 1) the protocol and its replicability, 2) the quality of the results collected from the questionnaires, 3) the (co-creation) sessions, 4) the results delivered to the company and we conclude with 5) a reflection on the scalability of the design support post project funding.

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