It was an afternoon for celebrating the success of COLABORAR.
Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS hosted an event to mark 6 years of the project. We invited a group of volunteers from the user network COLABORAR and gave thanks for their participation. Symbolically, we were thanking all volunteers who participated in research activities throuth the last years. We hilighted the importance of their feedback on our projects and showed them the apps developed. Most importantly, we took this time for talking with them: different generations united for research and technology.
COLABORAR thanks all volunteers form the user network COLABORAR!
The researchers would like to thank the 1500 individuals who participated as users on the Fraunhofer’s tests and user research activities in the last 6 years. Their participation and critiques are essential to the quality of applications that has been developed at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.
Time flies! Five years ago, when we started the project COLABORAR, we were far from imagining how the project would grow up, evolve and transform itself.
Project activities started in the Fall of 2011, with institutions being contacted to be part of an innovative project that aimed to create a user network comprised of seniors to take part in research studies with technology. Many would think that seniors and technology seemed not to combine. At the time, smartphones and tablets were not as popular as they are nowadays. However, and happily, many institutions accepted the challenge and were enthusiastic with the idea of seeing older adults interacting with technology.
It has been a very good experience for both researchers and older adults. We watch them becoming more experienced with touch screen devices, taking part in conversations about technology and using new technologies to communicate with distant relatives. They participate in our research studies because they think they are an important part on the process of building good solutions for future’s older adults. The insights we gather from all of them are important for researchers and enriches our studies.
We celebrated the projects’ anniversary with an event at Fraunhofer AICOS’ facilities. It is called Open Lab Day, in which we receive the stuff and attendees from Day Care/Living Centres to have some tea, cake and play games with us. This year was no exception and we invited two Day Care/Living Centres. The preparations started with the decorations of our Software Laboratory, the space we use for showcasing projects. Each year we make different decorations. We set up some tablets on the table and we played CognipPlay, the Fraunhofer AICOS’ platform of cognitive games designed to stimulate seniors’ memory. Then, we showed our guests how to take photographs and selfies with tablets. We could see how much they enjoyed taking selfies!
We are happy that we could provide a special day with lots of fun to our senior volunteers!
When we created the COLABORAR project, in 2011, we could not imagine how the project would grow and evolve. The network expanded from 3 to 50 partner institutions. More than 700 users have participated in at least one COLABORAR activity, whether it was a test, a usability test, a questionnaire, an interview, demo or other, in a total of 1900 sessions. New users joined the network which, at the moment, includes seniors, caregivers and professionals across Portugal and abroad.
Internally, a CRM application was created and has been optimized, so that we can manage all the aspects involving the relationships with the institutions and the individual participants. The app allows us to register user participation and, therefore, ease the process of accurate user recruitment, according to the requests of the researchers, users’ characteristics and preferences.
As we celebrate our 4th anniversary, we are focused on the future of usability testing with older adults and people with specific diseases or disabilities. We gladly announce that we are preparing a new mobile application that will enable us to do remote user research and that reserves many surprises for the users in the network.
This week we are celebrating our achievements by inviting a day care/living centre, while symbolically honouring each and every person who collaborated with us so far. Our guests visited the facilities and tried out some of our mobile applications for tablets, TVs and smartphones. A sincere and big thank you! We hope all enjoyed the celebrations as much as we have and we hope to celebrate many more years with all of you!
On the 3rd anniversary week, COLABORAR gave the chance to almost 30 seniors of Porto to get to know our research center.
COLABORAR opened Fraunhofer’s doors and guided seniors through the open space, where researchers work, as well as through the Software and the Living Labs, the spaces where researchers test the applications.
Over a cup of tea and cookies, our guests learned how to use tablets to play games and take photos…and selfies! And they even tried the latest games for TV interfaces! They enjoyed the advantages of the new technologies and it was a really nice afternoon!
Thank you everyone for joined us in this special occasion!
This month COLABORAR celebrates a special occasion: its 3rd anniversary!
To celebrate it, COLABORAR prepared a week full of surprises. We can give you a clue: it involves tablets, seniors, tea and cookies! And as usual, we will share it on our Website.
Three years after COLABORAR started, we can say that the collaboration and friendship of the seniors of the user network COLABORAR enriched all the elements of the team COLABORAR and all the researchers involved – both professionally and personally.