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Bridging the communication between elderly and the younger generation



4 Months

My role

Lead UI/UX designer


1 UX Designer,

1 Product Designer




Team members

Product and UI/UXdesigner
4 months

Eve Suen, Christopher Su-Zhou


Many seniors are housebound and lacking connections, suffer from social isolation. This loneliness can be debilitating, impacting both mental and physical health.

We want to tackle this problem by bridging the generational gap. We wonder, can we provide a communication platform specifically designed to connect the elderly with others?

Challenge Statement

How might we provide an accompaniment to the elderly by bridging the generational gap between the younger and older generations.

The Solution: CareIn

CareIN bridges the gap between generations with a unique app for the young people and a device for the seniors.

See below visualization for how it works:

1 CareIn App Platform

2 CareIn Device

Target user: Younger Generation

Target user: The Seniors

Young people can use the CareIN app to ask questions and seek help on various topics to the seniors.

Seniors have CareIN device at home, community centers, or libraries that allows them to see questions and respond by printing the message. They can write, and then scan their written responses to send them back to the young.

Our Approach






  • Secondary research

  • workshop for communication

  • Interviews

  • Empathy Mapping

  • Affinity Mapping

  • Personas

  • Mindmapping

  • Brainstorming

  • Sketches

  • wireframe

  • Hi-fi Design

  • Interactive Prototype

  • Co-creation workshop

  • Design iteration


Secondary Research

Social isolation and Loneliness in Older People

Our secondary research suggests that we need to raise awareness about mental health issues among the elderly.

By looking at UK, there are 1.2 million chronically lonely seniors.

(Age U.K. 2016, No one should have no one)
(Office for National Statistics 2010. General Lifestyle Survey 2008)

Two fifths all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their leading company.

(Age, U.K., 2014. Evidence Review: Loneliness in Later Life. London: Age U.K.)

There are over 2.2 million people aged 75 and over living alone in Great Britain - over half of that demographic (51%), an increase of almost a quarter (24%) over the past 20 years.


Negative Impact

There is a severe negative impact on both physical and mental habits as a result.


• poor diet

• lack of physical activity

• smoking


• quicker cognitive decline 

• dementia

• poor cognitive performance 

• a higher risk of mortality

• long-term illnesses


• Depression

Each of the invited participants drew a folded session of a piece of paper. A new drawing was created after folding out all the sections to show the whole collaborative picture.

Activity 2:

Paper Drawing Activity

The cups were connected through a thread to transmit our voices. One of us held one side of the connected cup, with the other designer on the receiving/other side and talked to each other.

Activity 1:

Communicate Through a Styrofoam Cup

Workshop: Understand Communication

These activities showed how tools create different experiences of communication compared to the typical talking scenarios, like a conversation. In this case, the power of communication could be brought back while it was eliminated initially by distance. However, the participants couldn’t feel each other’s emotions as easily because there was no face to face conversation.

Group 2: Age 18 ~ 30

Interview Objective:

To study in what ways would young people be interested in providing companionship to elderly people as part of their social volunteer work?

Interview Objective:

To study how often does elderly ever feel isolated and in what ways they wish for companionship.

Group 1: Age 65 ~ 84

Qualitative Research

12 in-depth interviews with stakeholders were conducted. The aim of this study was to understand how elderly think about reaching out to others, how younger people think about volunteering, the challenges they face, and how we can support them.


Empathy Mapping

To highlight the key insights from the user interviews, we used empathy map as a tool to analyze the information collected from the interview.




Can volunteering be a solution?

1. Volunteering connects you to others

It decreases your risk of depression through social interaction. It helps to build a better sense of community engagement based on the dedicated commitment to others. Both of which have been shown to decrease depression.

2. Volunteering effects the able-body

People with disabilities or chronic health conditions can benefit greatly from volunteering. Research has shown that adults with disabilities or health conditions ranging from hearing and vision loss to heart disease, diabetes, or diges- tive disorders all show improvement after volunteering.

Idea Development

Target Users & Location

The device built a connection between the different generations. The Elderly adopted volunteering as a way to communicate with the younger generation. The device was located at community centers or libraries. It allowed them to ask a question when they were lost or confused. Then, each senior who had a device provided feedback and help to the younger generation.

• Younger generation at library/community center
• Elderly (target age: 60-80) at home / nursing house


The Target Users

App wireframing to Hi-fi

Welcome & Sign In Pages

Featuring CareIn logo & introduction in the beginning to welcome users to sign in or register 

Prototyping & Co-creation (Device)

For the elderly users, this handy size device is provided with an easy user experience design. It must be simple to learn and use, especially as some elderly people can have learning impairments or disabilities. We conducted multiple co-creation workshops to ensure user experience.

User Flow

Information Architecture

Style Guide

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