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LIGO

UX/UI Product Design 

TOOLS

Figma, Cinema 4D, Principle, Photoshop, Adobe XD

TEAM

Anna Asgaraly, Chelsea Shum, Lulu Li, Christina Poon (me)

TIMELINE

November - December 2020

Problem

Communication is the basic foundation of building interpersonal relationships and navigating everyday life. In our current day, there aren’t many accessible solutions that can bridge the communication gap between individuals with deaf impairment.

“There are 466 million people in the world with disabling hearing loss. This is over 5% of the world’s population.”

- World Health Organization

Goal

Make communication easy and accessible between deaf and able-bodied groups.

Target Audience

Deaf individuals who can understand both English and ASL
Deaf individuals who only understand ASL

Solution

A wearable smart interpreter for the deaf

Ligo, A detachable SmartWatch device capable of interpreting sign language for everyday scenarios that deaf individuals experience. This device would eliminate communication barriers for the deaf community. Using motion detection technology and artificial intelligence, Ligo acts as your personal interpreter for every situation:

• Translating sign language to speech and text
• Interpret speech and audio in real-time
• Pairing with a mobile application for more viewing options and a calling feature

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Promotional video about the product

Research

To gain a better understanding of our targetted audience, we created a questionnaire using Google Forms to ask the deaf community what challenges they face and what kind of smart devices they would benefit from. We contacted deaf institutions across North America and received responses that corrected assumptions we had regarding the deaf community and informed us how we ought to address their needs.

 

Please note, the responses we received were from individuals who can read and write in English. Our responses do not reflect the input of deaf individuals who only know ASL. Moving forward we are will be translating our questionnaire to be accessible to signers to collect their feedback.

Full User Research

Key Takeaways

Through the questionnaire we found that:

  • 93% of responders have experienced challenges in communicating with hearing individuals. 

  • With COVID-19 safety measures in place, it makes it difficult for deaf individuals to lip-read and understand read facial expressions with the face masks on

  • Hospitals, airports and workplaces are environments that make communications more challenging

  • Able bodies find that communication can get too tedious, so they just gave up and communicate less with deaf individuals. 
     

  • wish to see better speech to text devices and more close captions. 

Analysis

We also created a PACT analysis and a Benchmark Analysis to develop an in-depth insight on different smart devices targetted for the deaf community, what the market is missing and improvements that can be applied to our app and device.

PACT Analysis

Benchmark Analysis

Benchmark Analysis

User Personas

We created two user personas of target audiences to help assess how our app and device can help with their needs. 

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Additional Questions

After conducting research, I formed some additional questions to help with the product ideation process. Some questions include: 

  • How does the product work in a group setting where multiple people are talking?

  • How will the interface work for all the accessibility levels?

  • How will this product work when a conversation is not already engaged?

  • How to make the 2-part system more efficient/do we need it?

Full Questions

Smart Device Development

After more in-depth research, we began the visual and ideation process, while keeping my targeted audience in mind. We started with listing and prioritizing the main features on the device.

Determining the Features

By taking a look at our user pain points and core needs, we were able to come up with a list of features that includes:

  • An artificial intelligence ASL interpreter is visible on the watch face display

  • The watch reads sign language through motion-sensing bands

  • Translates ASL to English speech through watch speakers

  • Messages can be sent to hearing individuals as speech or text via Bluetooth

  • Use the mobile application for a larger viewing surface

  • Make phone calls in ASL on the mobile app without a video relay system

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Product Iterations

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Final sketches

Our product ideation phase consisted of our entire team sketching ideas together. To ensure that the product was accessible for the deaf audience, we made sure to ideated within certain constraints. The product had to be comfortable for everyday wear with a large display screen for the AI interpreter to be viewed at a comfortable size. The product also had to be tactile and easily navigated and worn.

After multiple iterations of sketches, as well as receiving feedback from our professors, we collectively finalized our product to a simpler smart-watch design that ultimately targets all of the problems that we wanted to resolve.

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Final Render

Mobile App

After solidifying the physical product, we started by prioritizing the core features of the apps and creating context scenarios.

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Wireframes

Branding

While building our product concepts we also started with building our brand including colour palette, typography, 3D modelling, and brand values for our product.

With our product designed to target the deaf-blind community, accessibility was our main focus. We wanted to create a straightforward that would make the users feel at ease. We used primary black and white and one accent colour to help identify our brand. We chose a claming blue that also provides the value of security and reliability. We used a standard san serif typeface and followed the accessibility guidelines and use a font size that would be comfortable for our users. 

Moodboard for device

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Context Scenarios

Promotional Website

About section

Technology behind the device

LIGO

OVERVIEW

Your personal interpreter for every situation

Connect your device to your Phone

seamlessly switch from viewing ASL on your phone to your device

Prototype Link

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Learn how to navigate through the app

A walkthrough provided for every new user after connecting Ligo with your phone

Prototype Link

Direct your conversation anywhere

You can use Bluetooth to send your audio to anyone's phone or Bluetooth device.

Prototype Link

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Hassle-free calling

You can forget about third-party relay services, Ligo's calling feature interprets your phone calls instantaneously inside the app.  

Prototype Link

Every feature tailored just for you

The extensive accessibility features allow you to tailor the app to fit your needs.

Prototype Link

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Conclusion

Whilst navigating this 3 month-long project, we ensured our priority was to serve the deaf community the best we could. However, that process came with a lot of learning and unlearning of our own assumptions.

Initially, we were blindsided by our own narrow understanding of the deaf community. After reaching out to users in our target demographic, we were able to gain a clearer understanding of our objectives and thus, empathize better with their needs.

Overall, this project allowed us to further expand our understanding of accessibility within tech. Moving forward, we strive to continuously learn and apply our knowledge to future projects, as well as other aspects of our lives.

Key Takeways

  • Empathize with and respect your target audience

  • Keep the scope within your target audience’s needs

  • Focus on the objectives and key goals

  • Correct your assumptions with research

  • Connect with your teammates and have a set schedule for meets