In our user testing, we found that the form was ergonomic to touch, and the voice and touch input appeared to be intuitive for making and receiving calls. However, we did notice that users didn’t always understand how to initially activate the device. Once we explained it to the user afterwards, they understood how to interact with the form. Some users questioned the need for “touch to confirm” when initiating the call, which seemed unnecessary for a device with voice control. Moving forward, we would need to simplify the experience or provide instructions for use.
We found that all users had varying levels of experience staying in a hospital, yet all shared a similar mindset. The users viewed the hospital experience as negative when forced to stay for an extended period of time. Pain points included isolation and the sterile nature of a hospital environment. Some users remarked that the curved aesthetic of the prototype would be comforting in this context, and things like light and sound feedback can make a hospital room feel more personal.
While our prototype was effective in demonstrating the basic interactions of the phone dock, it would be necessary to make an additional iteration integrating real-time voice interactions before moving forward with testing our prototype with patients in the hospital.
Testing users of varying abilities (motor impairments, weak grip, soft voice, blindness, or another disability) would help us account for a broader range of use cases. A diary study would allow us to track and gauge emotional comfort received from the device over a period of time. In addition to this, we would need to work with medical professionals to ensure our device is compliant.
While further testing would reveal more clear design directions, some ideas for future work involve investigating whether UV lights could be used to sanitize the phone dock, integrating a video chat option for a more realistic experience, and adding features for patient entertainment.