A shared bulletin board
Postboard helps people with different language skills communicate. It is designed to help prevent social isolation of people with aphasia, a language disorder. The user decides the form of communication. Anything that is put onto Postboard will be visible on contacts’ boards and vice versa. It is internet messaging made tangible.
After getting an overview of aphasia, we used various brainstorming and ‘bodystorming’ techniques. In an association game, I had an idea for person-to-person messaging through windows on a pole. With simple paper prototypes we could quickly try out multiple variations of the idea.
In an iterative fashion, we created several prototypes. I programmed software prototypes to try out different ways of communicating within the team. A more polished prototype was used to evoke discussions with other students and experts. With an uncontrolled public prototype we let people experience the system.
Postboard was developed in a user-centered process. During the research phase we had meetings with aphasics and therapists. Because I had a working prototype ready quickly, we could validate the design by testing it with aphasics. It was wonderful to see them building up a fun conversation.
Postboard can provide a great new communication experience to a general audience of elderly people. Therefore we developed it further in a ‘universal design’ way, making sure the form would fit in various home styles.