Reflective notes, Prototyping workshop 22-11-12.

Reflection on Roos
By Esther During the workshop, Roos presented two different concepts:  A glowing box for the nurses to put everything in when they enter a room, which enables them to “leave their stress” behind and totally focus on the patient in that room. The box will light up when they receive a phone call, and will continue to glow brighter when more phone calls are being made – this way the nurse is still aware that someone is waiting for her. The elderly also have the chance to customize the box and leave nice messages.  An application that shows the nurses what they have to do, who has called (and how often), and tells you that you have done a good job afterwards (and if you still have to do a lot). Our reflection group had three members, Tommie and Maartje who did not yet see her prototypes before, and me, the EI buddy of Roos. We gave feedback on both of the prototypes, presented in bullet points below. The box  The idea of the box is that you can take your mind of the things you still have to do and your phone that keeps ringing, but a risk is that the nurses will keep looking at the box, not sure if they are needed somewhere. This only adds an extra stress factor.  It is a very nice idea that the elderly are able to add stuff to the box and customize it, this will also make the nurses feel more appreciated, which was one of the interaction goals.  There is the question of where to place the box. It should be visible wherever you are, so you should also be able to see it when you are in the bathroom or around the corner. A solution for this could be the intensity of the light, but this also has to do with the light that is already in the room. This is something that Roos could test.  An interesting direction that was mentioned is that you could also design it in such a way that the elderly can place the box on their night stand. This gives the elderly the opportunity to make it more personal, and they will also see it when someone needs the nurse so they will feel more understanding when the nurse has to leave for a second. Something that also came up when discussing this is that it could work to have a way of seeing why somebody is calling the nurse: when someone fell down the intensity could be brighter. This should be implemented in the bells of the elderly though, and another problem is that they always believe the problem they have at that moment (i.e. toilet visit) is the most important of all the other problems, so they might not be very understanding.  One last idea that was mentioned regarding the box was that you could also use a nice piece of music that the elderly person selected him/herself, so they are less bothered by the sound.

The app  The app is very different from the previous concept because it is more functional, but it could take away some stress because they do not have to see the big list with things they still have to do. This makes it a nice idea.  One of the aspects of the app is that it mentions: “well done, you’re almost finished!”. This is nice but Roos should consider what to say when she is not yet almost finished. It needs to be something motivating and positive.  A problem that might occur is that the nurses feel like they are being checked. The list just states: you have to do this and have it finished at that time. But because the apps knows exactly how long you spend on a certain task this can make the nurse feel stressed. An example of this was found in an elderly home elsewhere, in which they had cards the nurses used to “check in to a room”. This did not have a very positive effect because they felt checked.  A question that came up was if they could still select the order of the chores. When working with the list they can easily do this and just check off what they did, which means that most of the nurses are already very aware of the best order to work in. However, when flexworkers are there, they do not work in the most logical order but they work in the order of the list, which causes a lot of annoyances. This should leave the nurses free to work in the order they want, they do not want to be guided too much, some of them already work there for a lot of years and already know the order, they might not want some device to give them directions. So it might be an opportunity for Roos to design something that lets them select the order themselves.  At the end of a chore the device tells you “well done”. This is really nice but it might be better when this is more personal, a device does not know what you have done so even when you messed up completely it will tell you “well done”. It could be nice to let the elderly give (positive) feedback, i.e. in the form of a button they can press when they are happy with the nurse, but this can go two ways: the nurses feel stimulated to work even better, or they feel demotivated and annoyed and will not even try anymore. This is a risk when letting the elderly give such personal feedback, when you do it like it is in the box (the box is the same for every nurse) it might work better. But this is something Roos can test as well! Both of the concepts Roos presented are very different but can both be very promising and I am curious what will come out of the tests.