Autism Spectrum Disorder Data Analysis Tool | June 2015 - August 2015
CareCam can provide parents of children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) a seamless way to record, analyze and share children's behavior data with therapists and teachers. It can help parents learn about children's behavior pattern and take better care of children.
TARGET USER: Parents of Children (3-12 years old) with ASD
SUPPORT: Microsoft Research.
MENTOR: Asta Roseway, principal research designer of Microsoft Research
TEAM: Liusu Wang, Meishen Yin, Tayseer Gherfal, Junying Chang
CONTRIBUTION: Worked as a UX designer and led visual design since I am the only person who has design background in the team.
AWARD: UXPA Poster Session
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders. Children with ASD often have ongoing social problems that include difficulty communicating and interacting with others. They exhibit negative behaviors. The number of people with ASD have dramatically increased since 2000. 1 in 68 has been diagnosed with ASD.
We did literature review, expert interviews, focus groups and user interviews.
- Children with ASD exhibit negative behaviors including repetitive behaviors, screaming and so on. Each child has their own behavioral patterns and these patterns are always changing.
- Parents need to learn about their children's behavioral patterns and collaborate with therapists and schools to order to provide home intervention.
- It is overwhelming for parents to take care of children with ASD as they need to spend a lot of time in ABA programs, meet therapists, and take care of their children. "It will be helpful if they can keep a journal, but parents do not always do that".
- Before seeing a therapist, parents need to fill in a questionnaire and describe what happened.
POINT OF VIEW
- As a parent, I want to learn about my child's behavioral patterns and how to give the right form of intervention.
- As a parent, I would like to tell therapists and teachers exactly what happened so that we can collaborate to take better care of my child.
- As a therapist, I would like to know what happened in detail. "A challenge that we face is that we can not fully understand what happened when parents describe a behavior we do not see".
We did competitor analysis and a diary study.
- In the market, products require users to manually input data. It is impossible for parents to hold their phone to record their child while they are screaming.
- In the market, data visualization is hard to understand.
- Parents always forget to take notes about the behaviors they see. It is also hard for them to capture all of the details.
Design Goal: provide parents of children with ASD a seamless way to record, analyze and share children's behavior data with therapists and teachers.
We are making a solution that allows parents to better understand and analyze their children's behaviors. When turning on this system, it will automatically start recording but only save data that has been captured t minutes before the save button being pressed and continue recording data for x mins. It can help capture behavior triggers and interventions. Parents can input details later, analyze, and share the behavioral data with other stakeholders.
We made a series of mockups and different paper prototypes of the capture device to get answers to these questions:
- Which device would you like to use for recording: a mobile phone, a smartwatch, or a stand alone device?
- What data is beneficial to be recorded: voice, video, or still pictures?
- How would you like to interact with the device and the system?
- What data is beneficial to analyze: e.g. behavior type, duration, severity?
- Users would like to put the device on their clothes, facing their children.
- Users would like to be notified when the device starts or stops recording but do not want to draw attention to themselves. So vibrations are better than lights or sounds.
- Users would like to get video data to remember details, which can also help communicate with therapists and teachers.
- Users care about severity and duration of behavior; They would like to view these details in the timeline.
- Users tend to share data only from a specific session to stakeholders but they also want therapists to be able to see all the data so that they can provide helpful instruction.
We did visual research and made decisions about our color palette. We used blue as the base color because it is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect.
Every behavior has a trigger. Once activated, the CareCam device can keep recording audio data. When a behavior occurs and the parent presses the button, it will save the past 5 minutes of audio that was captured, and record video for an additional 5 minutes. When the CareCam device starts or stops recording data, it will vibrate to let parents know the status. Parents can input more details later, analyze, and share behavior data.
USER FLOW: Capture - Annotation - Analyze - Share - Learn.
CareCam device can help parents record moments of negative behaviors. Then parents can input details. Our system can help parents analyze behavioral data and parents can share the data analysis with therapists, teachers, and other family members. After collaborating with therapists and teachers, they can better understand their children's behavioral patterns and take better care of their children.
We let the participant wear the device for two days. Then we went to their home for usability tests.
- Users never forgot to press the save button and they thought the wearable device was comfortable to wear.
- Children did not refuse to be recorded.
- Parents easily understood the data visualization because it showed what they wanted, especially behavioral trends and the interventions for those behaviors.
We are proud of what we have done, especially when parents say that they really hope this application can be on the market. The idea is to make life better, and we are doing it!
When CareCam was presented in the UXPA conference, people were interested. People who have relatives with ASD even sent emails to follow up :
"I have a younger brother with autism, so this is an area of personal interest to me. If you even had 20 minutes and would be open to sharing your experience, I'd hugely appreciate learning more about how you came to create this app and if you are continuing to develop it."
Though due to the limited time, we have not yet fully designed all the interfaces, instead we focused more on the interaction model. The design needs to be improved further, but we are proud of CareCam since it is well received by families of children with ASD.
- When domain knowledge is needed, we need to patiently spend more time on research. Especially on such a sensitive topic, we need to have more patience and understanding when trying to get participants and to discuss these topics.
- User feedback can provide new ideas and validate the existing proposals especially when designers have different ideas.
If we have more time and resources, we should talk with more participants and do more usability tests. We can make a real CareCam device prototype instead of using other products to imitate the device.
Thank you again for the Microsoft Research support and the mentoring from Asta Roseway, the principal research designer of Microsoft Research