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Friendly Accessible Restaurant for People with Hearing Loss

Eating has becoming vita to our culture and daily life, however, people with hearing difficulties may not be comfortable to eat out. We are thinking about how to let them dine out just like everyone.



SOLUTION

A service SOP and useful toolkits to reduce the communication gap between restaurant and consumers.

HONOR

The Best Innovative Design Award

ROLE
Primary interviewer
Service Designer
Storyteller
METHODS
Contexual Interview
Personas
User Journey Map
Prototypes
User Testing
Slides Design
PROJECT INFO

Innovation Workshop
4 members
09/2013
Taipei, Taiwan

The Problem

Eating has becoming vita to our culture and daily life, however, people with hearing difficulties may not be comfortable to eat out. They have the following challenges:

  • Not able to reserve restaurant by phone.
  • Can't hear reminders for safy when the server is serving the meal.
  • The huge decoration on tables, dark lights and mask on servers's mouth will stop them from lip reading.
  • If there is no pictures on the menu, it is hard to fully understand it, even the servers try to explain it.

Project Challenge

Conduct Interview through sign language interpreters

Solution

Best Innovative Design Award

We designed a SOP and many useful toolkits to reduce the communication gap between restaurant and consumers. Also I designed an attractive presentation to promote the solutions.

Our design got admit by many experts, they provided us lots of advices for enhancement and also encouraged us to promote these ideas. Our design received "the Best Innovative Design Award".

Research

How we get there

Understanding Users and the Context

Through pilot study which has done by dreamvok and the experts' speech, we wrote down the key attributes and categorise them into 6 groups for further research. We found that people with hearing disabilities' needs are often ignored until they start to talk with others. What they need is a more smooth communicating environment.

6 groups: seeing, moving, listening, psychology, needs, others.

We conducted the interview with our TA, focusing on their problems and "feelings". In order to observe in the real context, we dined with our them in different types of restaurant, such as Japanese ramen shop and cafeteria. This allowed us to understand the real behaviour and the day-to-day challenges that they encountered.

My difficulties are hard to notice, so I am often ignored by the servers.
I want to do things on a daytime base like normal people do, so I'd like people to treat me like normal people.

We used the user's journey to break down user activities into component parts and gain the insights. We clustered their activities into 8 nodes and 3 dimensions:

  1. Recognition
  2. Transportation
  3. Entering the restaurant
  4. Ordering
  5. Eating
  6. Toilet
  7. Payment
  8. Recommendation
  1. People
  2. Service
  3. Environment

We summarized the attributes which are defined in previous stage to strategically developed a persona that would address the most pain points suffered by hearing impaired. Therefore, we could explore concepts based on this persona and tried to solve problems in a better way.

Breakdown the service point

For a more holistic understanding of the service process and the contact points, we develop the restaurant service blueprint. We took every stage's experience in mind.

Design Proposal

How we solve the problems

Design Philosophy

We are thinking about how to let them dine out just like everyone.

 Dining out can be much easier.

We identified Point of View (POV) before brainstorming:

  • Who: A fresh graduate boy with severe hearing loss.
  • Want: Enhance the autonomy of eating out and reduce the opportunities to use the oral communication.
  • Why: He's too shy to ask people for help and would like to dine out just like normal people.

Later on, we set up "American restaurants" as the target type of restaurant that we would like to explore. We clustered and scored the concepts, and took the possibilities of implement and the effectiveness of improving experience into account.

The top 4 highest scored concepts are:

  • VIP Card

    Provide VIP card for the customers who have special needs. Once they provide this card to the waiters, the waiters can arrange them based on their needs and also note down to let the other waiters aware of these customers.

  • A Service Ring and Cards

    On each dining table, setting up a service ring with 5 types of service, including order, clean, add water, remind the meal, others.

  • Communication Kits

    Design the communication kits and favour card to improve the ordering experience.

Prototype

Based on the brainstorming, we conducted the rapid prototypes, such as VIP card, communication card, redesigned menu, service rings, and invited our potential customers from previous interview to review our ideas. We refined our concepts based on their feedbacks.

Reflection

What did I learn

Lessons

  • Use user journey map to carify the touchpoints across the overall experience.
  • Interview through the third-party transtion.

The most surprising thing

My design philosophy changes from barrier-free to universal design.

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