Ux Case Study-App for deaf-making Communication Accessible

Aashi is the app for deaf and hard of hearing, so that they can communicate independently, gaining self confidence.

Aashi-Let’s Talk & Hear, is the app for deaf, Hard of Hearing (HOH),(aged 18 –80… years old). The aims is to provide a seamless and intuitive experience of communication, between deaf people and the hearing people, connecting any time anywhere. It will improve the communication possibilities of deaf users, help them interact socially and to overcome their communication barriers by bridging the gap of communication.

About the Problem

Deaf persons face many challenges while communicating with the hearing people, who are not aware of sign language, communication may be limited as he has to use interpreter knowing sign language, pen and paper, or hand gestures. The deaf always have to rely on other person or modes for communication.

Deaf persons face many challenges while communicating with the hearing people, problems faced by deaf people are primarily associated with the use of language, their mother tongue may be sign language (SL), whereas the first language of hearing person is a spoken language, hearing person don’t know sign language.

Deafness has a direct impact on communication, educational achievements, and social interactions. Communication plays a vital role in human life. As a designer, I thought to create the solution for the deaf people who struggle communicating with the hearing persons.Deaf people face many irritations and frustrations that limit their ability to do everyday tasks, cause low self-esteem and may result in social isolation of deaf person.

Solution

The gap between the communication can be solved by involving technology as it can be used as an interpreter for converting the Speech to Text and Text to Speech, sign languages, gestures into text or speech, for better communication between the deaf user and hearing individuals. -Aashi-Let’s Talk & Hear app.

Problem Statement — “Barrier Free Communication”-for deaf.

To solve the communication problem the functions are classified as follows:
Aashi makes available speech in the form of text and text in the form of speech.

How it works?

The user has 3 options to communicate :

Normal keyboard,QWERT-
where the conversation between the deaf user and the hearing people will happen in the form of Text-to-Speech & Speech-to-Text.

Sign language keyboard-
where the conversation between the deaf user and the hearing people will happen in the form of Sign language -Text-to-Speech & Speech-to-Text.

Hand gestures
where the deaf user can make hand gestures, the hand gestures will be virtually transcribed to Voice for the person standing in front.The communication between them will happen in the form of hand gestures to speech, & and the spoken words of the person in front will be Speech-to-Text.

How Aashi the app was thought ?

AS I was discussing the topic for the project, I was not able to hear what was being said, That was the point when I got the thought about hearing less. This triggered me to do research about how do they do their daily activities.I happen to meet 2 sales person in a retail outlet. Who were deaf and dumbs.
Initially I did Ethnographic research, just by observing them, I started my research to know more about deaf persons.

Facts

Over 5% of the world’s population — or 466 million people — has disabling hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children). It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people — or one in every ten people — will have disabling hearing loss. According to research from Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, around 6.3 percent of the population (roughly 63 million people) have some level of functional hearing loss.

As I was the sole designer, initially I researched the topic and came to the conclusion that users should be benefited by the technology of transcribing Speech to Text and Text to speech option.
With the User centred design approach for this project
I conducted User Research, Market Research and then created Persona, User Scenario, Storyboard, Wireframing, Low-fidelity Prototyping, High-fidelity Prototyping.

User-centered design

User-centred design (UCD) is an optimistic approach for current and new solutions. It starts with the users and ends with the solution for the needs. When you understand the people you are trying to reach, and then design from their perspective, you come up solutions. UCD is both how you are thinking and what you are doing. It is all about building a deep empathy with the users you’re designing for. Generating heaps of ideas and building a bunch of prototypes. Sharing what you’ve got created with the users you’re designing for. Failing and trying again. And finally coming up with solution.

After the survey and interviews,I summarised the results to identify the main concerns of the people with hearing disabilities, their friends and family.

While it is incredibly difficult to understand exactly what it’s like to be deaf, most individuals are unaware that hearing difficulty comes with many challenges. they experience the world in an entirely different way.
Everyday activities like doing bank transactions, speaking to a doctor about illness, Calling to book a table, asking/calling for help when stranded at the side of the road are tasks they face. Persons with hearing difficulties (Deaf, HoH), simple tasks like these typically require expensive equipment or an interpreter.feelings of embarrassment due to misunderstanding, and self-consciousness while interacting with hearing peers,a decrease in self confidence in social interactions.
The people with hearing difficulties (Deaf, HoH) are not able to make and receive a phone call, as they are not able to talk. Not getting announcements at public places, events, railway station.The announcements made are verbal, the deaf parsons miss them especially if no one is around to let them know what’s going on.

I-Discover

User Research

When the interviews were planed the major hurdle was explaining my intension of interviewing the users, Initially I spoke with the colleagues and manager of the users where they were working.Direct communication was not possible as I was not aware of the sign language. arranged an interpreter for the interview
I took personal interviews for qualitative research whereas a google form was spread to multiple users to gather quantitative research inputs.Through Ethnographic research observed the user in their environment, studied their behaviour and attitude conducted interviews with their friends, family, and with the users themselves by asking them questions in writing.

Personas

Scenarios and Storyboard

Card Sort

Wireframe

Alternate Design

Low Fidelity Wireframe

Screen Flow

About my Mentor

I happen to meet Mr.Tushar Deshmukh, Founder & CEO UXExpert — UXUITrainingLab Pvt. Ltd. Pune, Maharashtra.
Who mentored me in my project-asahi. I thank him for his valuable time and efforts for mentoring me. Mr Tushar Deshmukh is someone who is experienced in the field of UX and was willing to give me advice to move ahead in my project. He provide me his valuable advice on best industry practice, and helped to build my confidence as a UX professional, and gave me insights on my idea to move forward. As a Mentors he helped me to bridge my knowledge gap and develope my skill sets as a UX professional.

Conclusion
At the end of the project, I gained more knowledge about accessibility and hearing disability, Before the project I had never thought about how it is being deaf, now interested in designing solutions for deaf blind and blind users, The biggest challenge I faced during this project was communicating with people with hearing disabilities so want to learn the basic sign language. It was an amazing experience, got to learn a lot while going through the whole process. I am interested in designing solutions for deaf blind and blind users, I would like to explore how technology for VR/AR be beneficial,would like to find innovative ways to apply design thinking and human centered design principles to develop design solutions for touch-less interactions.

If you want to access the High Fidelity Mockups or have an queries about the project , You can contact me at: madhurinavare@hotmail.com

Thank you, for taking time and going through my case study.

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I am a noob in UX/UI field. This is my first UX project