University of Twente Student Theses


Developing a life-storybook-application for people with dementia

Pühl, Julia (2018) Developing a life-storybook-application for people with dementia.

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Abstract:This thesis investigates on a specific tool for people with dementia that can help them to preserve memories. This tool is called life storybook and is similar to a photo album. More particularly, in this thesis it is tried to find out whether making a life storybook digital can enhance its user experience for people with dementia. At first it might seem rather contradictory that making a book digital for people who struggle with little daily-life-activities and are not used to technology can achieve an improvement in any way. Research however shows that technology is going to play an important role in dementia care in the future. That is because recent developments like our ageing society and elderly wanting to live longer at home require health care to adapt to these changes. The main pillar in this restructuring process is technology due to its possibilities. Additionally, these possibilities offer new ways to dementia treatment methods, in particular to the ones that include multi sensory stimulations which have been found to be especially effective. Subsequently, a digital life storybook could stimulate more senses of the user than only a book. If this and what else contributes to a better user experience was investigated by designing and developing a ‘life-storybook-application’. This process happened in two steps. First a LoFi-prototype was created and tested. In this phase the prototype was not fully functional yet, which is why the testing was aimed at its usability. Next to that, an interview was conducted collecting information about people with dementia in general. With the results of both, the testing and the interview, the first part of the answer to the research question could be formulated: for the life-storybook-application to be able to enhance the user experience it has to be usable by elderly. This concretely means that its design has to be simple, intuitive and consistent. Furthermore it was found that it should preferably be designed as book. It is important, that buttons and the font size are big enough and it should always be clear what the user can do, i.e. if something is clickable or not. In general, it is crucial to limit the options. In the second step the prototype was realized by being programmed as complete and functional application, which was then evaluated in a second user test. This time, the focus was put on its functionality and content. The content included screens showing photos with a voice recording, a video and photos with a song. The main goals were to find out which combination of media is considered to be most stimulating and whether the participant is able to perform a basic interaction with the application, which is to add content to it. Answers to these questions were obtained by observing the participant testing the application and through an interview, that was meant to clarify, testify and complement the observations. Additional information was collected with a questionnaire providing quantitative data and therefore another perspective to the results. The main findings were that participants struggled with adding content to the application and that all combinations of media were considered to be stimulating with the remark that for voice recordings that is only the case if the voice is familiar. That way, it is shown that with multimedia, more ways of stimulating can be provided as with a conventional life storybook. In conclusion, digitising a life storybook enhances its user experience due to the different combinations of media that can be included, given that it is user friendly for people with dementia.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Creative Technology BSc (50447)
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