Accessible Check-In Station for Hospitals
Role: Product Designer/Researcher
[One] is an accessible check-in station for out-patient hospitals. The current check-in methods that exist often have low level of accessibility, especially for those with blindness and/or vision impairment. This lack of accessibility to check-in forms results in a denial of service, even before the service begins.
The center QWERTY keyboard and the two track pads are covered with antimicrobial copper film. The keyboard sits very close to the interface for ease of cleansing. It retains the tactility of using a standard keyboard while keeping it nearly flush by reducing the travel of individual keys.
The bracket pivots around both ends, keeping the seat stable during use.
The contrasting colors helps visually locating the seat.
The dense fabric inlay in the interior, coupled with directional speakers attached to the screen creates a sense of privacy through acoustics.
The bottom right corner of every [One] has built in LED indicators, that stay on when it is unoccupied, and off when occupied.
The screen and keyboard travels along a rail, to adjust its distance from the user.
With an interior dimension of 33.5", it is wheelchair accessible.
I reached out to various local and national organizations for people with blindness for interviews, including:
Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired - www.asb.org
Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh - www. bvrspittsburgh.org
National Federation of the Blind - www.nfb.org
The interviews illuminated various pain points when visiting a medical facility as a person with blindness/vision impairment.
The most common problem that was voiced by all the interviewees was the lack of accessibility when checking in.
“The health care forms,
they want to give us a paper form on a clipboard,
and I say, “Well I can’t fill that out”,
and sometimes, they’ll say,
“Well then you can’t be a patient.”
“Spatial orientation is the 90%...
My eyes aren’t distracting me; as a matter of fact,
my ears are my eyes”
Visualizing early concepts helped organize vital elements that would make up the check-in experience.
Initial concepts explored modular panels, and creating derivations for accessibility.
I listed the fixed dimensions that had to be measured, and proceeded to draw out the dimensions on the wall. I assembled a quick prototype with PVC pipes and foam core, to gain a better sense of the physical space.
I user tested the prototype assembly, asking them to perform tasks. I recorded the tests, and re-measured the dimensions according to their behavior.
The tests revealed aspects that I had initially overlooked, such as interactions with the door, and the perpendicular screen.
Several changes were considered and made, such as removing the door completely. The focus soon turned to providing a welcoming experience without compromised privacy.
How can I create a sense of privacy and security in an open environment? I started exploring various high-tech applications such as directional speakers, privacy screen filters, and even rotating chairs.