An accessible grocery store for low vision customers : Human-centered design of a universal shopping solution, with a focus on people with low vision
Abstract: Around one percent of the Swedish population is defined as visually impaired and ten percent of them are classified as blind (Funka, n.d.; SRF, 2017a). A study shows that the prevalence of nearsightedness will increase to around half the population in the world in 2050 (Holden et. al., 2016). This suggests an increased need for solutions that work for people with reduced vision, not only for visually impaired but for a large group of the population. The aim of the project is to conceptualize a technological mainstream solution that supports people when shopping for groceries. The focus is on making this solution accessible for people with low vision. The project was planned based on the human-centered design process described by IDEO.org (2015), with an overall process divided into three phases: inspiration, ideation, and implementation. In the first phase, inspiration, a literature review was done, different field studies and other research methods were carried out. The outcome of the phase was three personas, two scenarios, and a design specification. During the second phase, ideation, the project scope was narrowed down – focusing on physical grocery stores (excluding online stores) and on conceptualizing a smartphone application. An ideation workshop was conducted, followed by concept creation, paper prototyping, scenario writing, user evaluations and a final concept selection. In the last phase, implementation, follow up feedback sessions were held and a simulation test of the final concept was held. Visualizations and presentation of the final concept were done. A list of summarized design principles was created, as support for further work on designing the application for low vision users. The final concept is based on a smartphone application that supports the customer through shopping list management, aisle navigation, item selection and item scanning, for a seamless customer experience for both people with full and low vision. The technology that will be utilized is Pricer AB's electronic shelf labels (ESL) with item positioning, customer navigation, and individual flashing light, combined with the grocery store online database with item descriptions and images. Here follows an example of how the interaction could look like for someone with low vision: He always prepares his shopping list before heading to the store, this way he knows the shopping will be easier for him. In the store, he gets all items on the list presented in the correct order of the store, in that way he knows what to search for. When looking for soy sauce from his shopping list he has trouble remembering where the section is, so he checks it up with the navigation. He realizes that it was just around the corner of where he just passed by. Once at the section he is presented with a list of different soy sauces in the application, matching his location, previous purchases and the soy sauce on his shopping list. He can now select the one that he prefers, and a picture of it appears on the screen, simultaneously a flashing green light appears by the item on the shelf, and he can easily and independently find the way right up to the soy sauce he wants.
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