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Usability and Acceptability of the Technology

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Data on the acceptability and usability of the technology are collected periodically during the experiment. From there, we have been able to support that a support system based on simple multimodal (ie visual and auditory) interactions, making learning easier for the elderly, was well understood and quickly learned.

We built a support notification system provided by the stationary tablet. In the usual situation, this tablet serves the social link viaits digital framework functions shared with the family. In case of detection of an abnormal or unwanted situation (according to the user’s declarations), assistance notifications are issued. These notifications are based on a simple distinction between “critical event” and “non-critical event” whatever the field of needs (daily activities, social link, security). The criticality of the event is determined by the consequence of the situation or the failure of the user. A critical alert is associated with a continuous ring that can not be ignored (high-pitched and high-volume), a specific display frame (square and orange), and a continued support message until that the user interacts with the system and responds to this critical situation. Conversely, non-critical notifications are associated with a short, unobtrusive ring, a very different specific display frame (round and green), and a temporary hold of the message (a few minutes, depending on the user’s preferences). ). The content of this message can be freely accessed by clicking on the alert button located at the top right of the digital frame, which activates the list of notifications and their contents.

This notification system is tested by use scenarios in the three domains (daily activities, social link and security) inducing critical and non-critical notifications, and this every month and a half over six months.

The performance of the older person is rated in terms of efficiency (execution of the expected behavior and success of the exchange with the system from 0 to 3) and efficiency (speed of execution of expected behavior timed in seconds). The results of this study reveal that early in the system, older users have less efficient and slower behaviors for critical notifications compared to non-critical notifications. These results can be explained by the fact that a critical notification (for example, the door is opened without supervision) requires an action (here, to close the door), whereas a non-critical notification (for example, the reminder of an appointment) only displays information that does not require action. However, we can observe that the efficiency becomes maximal from four and a half months, whatever the criticality of the message. Thus, the participants use the services efficiently from the beginning, until reaching an expert use (almost automatic answer and without error) to four and a half months, whatever the type of notification. It should be noted that the difference in initial efficiency (according to the criticality of the notification) attests to the good distinction by the user of the critical and non-critical notifications.

In addition, every month and a half, a questionnaire assessing the global and dimensional user experience (ergonomics, user pleasure, appeal, safety and social value) was filled in by the participants. The results showed that DomAssist’s overall acceptability, ergonomic quality and sense of security are positive and increase over time for most participants. In fact, 93.3% positively assessed the ergonomic quality of the solution and also perceived the services as useful, pleasant, attractive, socially non-stigmatizing (even rewarding) and reinforcing their sense of security (100%).

We investigated the links between system acceptability measures and certain physical and cognitive characteristics of older users, using standard clinical tools (scales assessing cognitive functioning, scale assessing physical abilities such as mobility or perceptual abilities). Our results showed a relationship between system acceptability, cognitive decline, and people’s physical abilities: greater acceptability is observed when users experience cognitive decline and average physical abilities, thus validating the system for the elderly with cognitive decline.