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a product-service system that empowers elderly to communicate their opinions through voice agents




The aging population is a phenomenon occurring all over the world. It can be seen that with aging, elderly's daily life situations change , such as transitions to nursing homes, and decreased physical health which can create feelings of loneliness and lack of positive emotions.  Therefore, research emphasizes on healthy aging amongst older adults. Moreover, with the increasing number of  elderly in long-term caring facilities, having increased dependency on caring staff due to more complex needs, results in decreased quality of care.

A variety of eating problems amongst older adults is one of the causes of elderly's greater dependency on caring staff. Aging affects ability to eat , eating patterns and decreases ability to seek variety in their meals. In order to provide quality of care, empowering care has been researched beneficial, making sure elderly keep in control of their lives. 

In this way, the design challenge is to increase elderly's autonomy to decide what to eat which is of major importance in order to positively influence their healthy eating behavior.  Therefore, this project aims to:

improve the communication of elderly residents with the other stakeholders in their healthy eating process in a nursing home by empowering them a platform to choose, involve and let their voices be heard. 

Design challenge & First directions

Definition of the project scope through value mapping, brainstorms, literature research and user journey mapping

context inquiry & concept development

Contextual inquiry of the nursing home context of the elderly residents, caring staff and other stakeholders leading into three preliminary concepts

co-reflections & design probes

Co-reflection workshop with various stakeholders in the nursing home context, e.g. caretakers and a chef leading into a first design probe focused on co-choosing meals

Final concepts & User validations

Final set of concepts turned into quick prototypes and scenario videos which were evaluated in validation sessions with several elderly in the nursing home facility

Final design & Service blueprint

Final design of the product-service system including the interaction and experience prototyping of the voice agent; and the design of the service blueprint; and final user evaluations with the interactive design probe

"I often do feel stressed during choosing time, it is often chaotic." (caretaker)


Co-reflection workshop with the main chef of Archipel and one of the caretakers. To reflect on their values around elderly healthy eating, the elderly's 'user journey' and some first design concepts

highlights in the design process

Interactive programming.jpg

Interaction & Experience Programming

Programming of the interactive and experiential functions of the final design probe including: voice recognition, sound playback, pickup recognition and an interactive light ring


Service Blueprint Design

The design of a service blueprint visualizing the entire service around the voice agent addressing front and back stages involving the multiple stakeholders as the elderly, caring staff and the food producing company

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