Yifei Liu, Sam Meyer, Nancy Yang, Frances Thai, Jessica Kwon
UX/UI Research & Design
In the United States, the retired population is increasing in size much faster than the rest of the population. The AARP reports that 90% of people over age 65 want to continue living in their homes for as long as possible, but they will need increasing help with basic tasks like cleaning and cooking.
We conducted two rounds of surveys targeting people over 55+ to understand more about their behavior, pain points and needs. We received more than 900 responses from the first survey and 313 responses from the second round. Here are some insights from the survey results:
From the tenants' side, we planned to first target university populations because they already take in part in organizations such as co-ops that require work as a part of living expenses, and a degree provides trust by seniors. A survey of 41 UC Berkeley students found that half of respondents would be willing to do some work around the house for reduced rent. These insights influenced and guided our implementation.
We interviewed researchers from the Berkeley Center for the Advanced Study of Aging Services to understand the challenges facing seniors who would like to remain in their homes. We learned about some existing programs, like the “Village Model” where seniors form a group within a city that works together and shares knowledge about how to get help. We also learned about HomeShare, a program in San Diego where seniors rent out their homes, sometimes in exchange for work around the house.
We pinpointed main user activities, tasks, and user stories for both home providers and home seekers.
We performed research about how elderly people interact with and use web interfaces to inform our UI design decisions. Below are some insights:
We first used figma to design our low-fidelity prototype to determine information architecture, key features and functionalities, and user flow.
After making the low-fidelity prototype, our team performed a heuristic evaluation. We made several important improvements, including:
Our BeeHome project was selected as one of 66 finalists from 326 submissions in a university-wide Big Idea Competition at Berkeley. We are planning to build a fully-functional web application and continue doing user testing to improve the website. We also plan to develop a business model for the project to take off.