IMPACT 0528: BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE ELDERLY AND TECHNOLOGY
Youth Action Challenge (YAC) is a platform for youth to provide solutions that tackle the issues we are concerned about. Since October 2021, over 80 teams and more than 310 youths have undertaken the YAC Season 3 journey.
Wa Thone, 24, is a final-year student studying Information Systems at Singapore Management University. Amid a quickly digitising world, seniors face various challenges integrating and this was even more prevalent during COVID-19 with higher reliance on technology.
To help them through their digital learning journey, Wa Thone and her friends set out to facilitate learning of digital literacy among seniors by building an accessible mobile application. Today she shares more about her project!
What was your role within your YAC project?
I was part of the team that developed the technical portions of the mobile application. First, we discussed and drew low-fidelity prototypes for the mobile application. After gathering feedback about the low-fi prototypes from the seniors, we incorporated the suggestions into our high-fidelity interactive mobile prototype. Aside from the prototype, I also researched and chose the appropriate technologies needed for the mobile application, such as text narration.
What motivated you to join YAC?
I wanted to make an impact by working on a meaningful project. YAC provides many workshops and resources to guide us for our projects and this assured me that joining YAC will provide us a good runway to create something meaningful successfully.
Can you share with us your experience with your YAC project?
The workshops organised by YAC were well-organised and useful in guiding us through different stages of the project, such as understanding of the problem statement, brainstorming and ideation, to testing and pitching. The resources provided were amazing too. We were assigned two mentors to check in and give advice for our project regularly.
We started our project with getting a general sense of digital literacy among seniors here. After surveying the seniors in public to identify their problems and suggestions, we brainstormed features to put into our solution and drafted our very first prototype. Then, through a few testing rounds with seniors, we did a few iterations to improve on the prototype to create a high-fidelity prototype that we have right now.
What are some challenges you faced while working on your YAC project?
One of the challenges we faced at first was finding a substantial number of willing seniors to interview when approaching them in public. This was a problem as we wanted more seniors to get feedback from for iterating the design of our prototype. To solve this, we got into touch with organisations working with seniors to ask for participation. This strategy helped us get connected to a pool of willing seniors to interview for our testing.
Another challenge I faced personally is conducting the interviews in Mandarin. As my Mandarin is not that great, I struggled a bit with the language barrier when interviewing the seniors speaking in Mandarin. I made do by using Google Translate and gestures to get my message across and had the interview recorded so that I could listen to it again in case I missed what the interviewee was saying.
Could you share more on how your project has a positive impact?
90% of the seniors interviewed have troubles with knowledge retention when learning digital skills, but they do not want to feel like a burden when asking family or friends for help. Our project helps by providing a mobile application that is accessible in learning digital skills and an avenue for knowledge retention.
Our project also complements a gap in existing initiatives, which are manpower and resource-intensive, by facilitating seniors’ revision and independent learning post introduction to digital skills by the existing initiatives.
Were there any key takeaways or learning points from your time with YAC?
I took away both the big picture and the details behind the whole process of creating a solution, starting from ideation, understanding the problem and target audience, to testing, using metrics, thinking about marketing strategies and pitching one’s solution.