Few of the visually impaired people are 100 % blind. The majority have a visual impairment that enables them to see a little bit, in some form or another. The eye conditions and what they can see differ, so to get somewhat of an understanding of what it's like to live with a visual impairment, we put on empathy goggles. They mimic the vision of a range of different eye diseases. We used these goggles and also a white cane for an hour while going about our day to get a sensory and first-hand experience of what it is like to be visually impaired.
We also listened to presentations by IBOS and a visually impaired blogger, Christina - Miss Blindspot. After visiting IBOS and their exhibition of technological aids for the visually impaired, we were assigned our super-user, Lasse. We interviewed him to get to know him and the history of his visual impairment and the challenges it poses. We visited Lasse in his home for a second, deeper interview where we utilized interactive research methods from our Convivial toolbox, such as make tool sessions and wardrobe interviews. We also interviewed his partner for added insight. Notes in Danish from both interviews can be viewed below.
The data collected in these interviews provided us with some insight.
Our hunch was that it must be very stressful to be visually impaired, and we wanted to create something to relieve stress. Lasse told us that the most stressful thing for him is when he cannot find his most important belongings, such as his white cane or his keys.
It is not only visually impaired people who can get stressed out by not finding important belongings, so this lead us to define a target group that also included sighted people.
To see how we proceeded to design a product for this target group, check out the Design section below.