Evaluating Emerging Technologies with Neurodivergent Populations

Auto-personalization for People Living with Dementia

We conducted a remote summative usability study (our methods are reported in [Wood et. al, 2021]) to evaluate the impact of surfacing embedded accessibility features such as color contrast, screen magnification, and read-aloud features. The usability study, involving 10 participants with dementia, included participants completing the same four tasks using both Morphic and the traditional Windows operating system. The results of the usability study indicate Morphic facilitated faster task time, greater task completion, and less help-seeking behavior than Windows’ built-in features. Further, participants noted the usefulness of accessibility features surfaced by Morphic which accommodated their sensory changes, such as having text read aloud, highlighting text to focus on a single line at a time and using existing Word Immersive Reading Tools. These findings contribute to the literature by demonstrating one way to support more widespread discovery and use of accessibility and ease of use features for users with dementia. In a publication in the proceedings of the 56th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, we outline fifteen design considerations, which, if implemented, may increase the involvement of People with Dementia in digital society [Wood et al., 2023].

Supporting Purposeful Activities for People Living with Dementia

In my work as a UX Research Consultant for Eperture LLC, on Project RememberStuff, I conducted remote usability testing with 8 participants with dementia to understand the perceptions of people with dementia concerning the purposefulness of certain activities provided by RememberStuff, as well as the general usability of the system. We found that RememberStuff currently provides activities that people with MCI and Mild to Moderate Dementia found enjoyable and purposeful. Based on these findings, we recommended iterations to the design of system to make it more usable by people with dementia as well as future considerations for more enjoyable and purposeful activities.

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