Category: Interviews

3000 user research and testing sessions with users

We are happy to have achieved the milestone of 3000 user research and testing sessions!

In the last 7 and a half years, COLABORAR supported 3000 user research activities. Requirements gathering, user interviews, diary studies, prototype testing, card sorting, focus groups, in-person usability studies, surveys and pilot studies are the activities carried out.

The COLABORAR team could not be more glad. We learned many things during this time regarding the recruitment of people for research and testing, as well as about carrying research with users. For the next years, we expect to double this milestone!

Collecting data to develop a mobile app for psychologists

Psychologists often collect and analyse large amounts of data from their patients in their clinical practice. At Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, an engineering student is developing a mobile app to support psychologists in their job.

Sixty COLABORAR volunteers made an important contribution to science by taking part in a session with a psychologist. The psychologist, also a volunteer, applied some psychology methods and instruments to evaluate each person.

The study received approval from an independent ethics committee. In the end of the study, participants will receive an individualized report provided by the psychologist. Many thanks to all participants for being so kind to participate in research! Your help adds value to technology, since real data are used in its development.

Interviewing nurses for a project related to pressure ulcers

Pressure ulcers are a complex problem that requires attention from healthcare professionals and caregivers.

Technology may be able to optimize care for patients. With this aim, a new project is underway at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS. This project is being developed by a Master’s student from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. Patients, informal caregivers, nurses and technical directors of institutions participated in interviews that will be valuable for understanding the complexities of this problem. COLABORAR gave a helping hand in the organization of interviews for this study.

The qualitative analsys of these interviews will enable the student and team to come up with a solution that will facilitate the care to patients with pressure ulcers.



COLABORAR volunteers at the Hack for Good Gulbenkian

The COLABORAR volunteers gave an important help at the Hack for Good Gulbenkian, a technological development marathon with social impact organized by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Our volunteers were the stars of the event because they participated in the role of experts in technology for older adults. The young competitors validated their ideas for projects with the 15 volunteers, who gave some tips about practical and useful aspects they should include in their projects in order to have impact in seniors’ daily life. Their knowledge on technology comes from individual propensity, constant updating spirit, a close look at the new technological features that are appearing and, of course, their experiences in participating in research activities using technology from Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.

The participation of older adults in this event was hilighted in the media – additionally to the COLABORAR and Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS Facebook pages – and you can see here a news piece from the online journal “Dinheiro Vivo”.

It’s time for field studies

Researchers at Fraunhofer AICOS are working in a new application to be integrated in the SmartCompanion system.

We have in our team a student from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. She is carrying out field work, namely interviews with older adults within her work of user research. The student will be using the insights to build a smartphone application and she is applying human-computer interaction principles in her work, specifically for the elders, since the user interfaces of this app should be simple and easy to read to the user.

We expect to test the prototype with volunteers in the network very soon!

Pre-test of CordonGris’ questionnaires


Recently, researchers working on CordonGris interviewed some seniors from the user network COLABORAR to pre-test of the script they used for the guided interview by questionnaire. We could count on volunteers to be interviewed about their nutrition habits and nutritional choices. The final interviews will be made in Portugal, in the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom.

Thank you to all the participants! Your insights were really valuable as we were able to validate the scrip of the interview that will be used in three different countries!


New project: interventions on seniors at risk


At Fraunhofer AICOS researchers are working in a new European project related to seniors at higher risk of physical and mental disease.

“My Active Ageing” (myAHA) is a new project that aims to address physical, cognitive and social frailties of seniors. Knowing their daily habits and characteristics related to health, nutrition, sleep, social activities and hobbies will enable researchers to develop tools to motivate seniors to keep active and reduce frailty. The engagement of seniors in these activities will reduce their risk of illness.

In order to better understand older adults’ characteristics, researchers are conducting interviews with older adults at Day-Care/Living Centres and Nursing Homes of the user network COLABORAR.

COLABORAR is happy that Portuguese seniors are participating in a European study that in the near future will help many seniors!

Interviews for SousChef


The project SousChef continues to run at Fraunhofer AICOS.

Researchers conducted interviews with nutritionists/dietitians in order to know some aspects to take into account when working with seniors in the scope of nutritional plans. Then, they were able to interview the social workers and co-wokers of the Day-Care/Living Centres and Nursing Homes for seniors of the user network COLABORAR. These professionals gave very important insights about the planning of meals for seniors, and gave practical examples of how to adjust seniors’ preferences to the recommendations of healthy eating.

The institutions also allowed us to visit the kitchen and the dining hall, enabling researchers to collect some data regarding the space and organization. They showed us some of their menus, which, by the way, seem to be delicious!

The data collected from the interviews and the ethnography observations will support Fraunhofer Portugal in its efforts to assist professionals and seniors.

2000 research activities


We are very glad to announce that COLABORAR recently completed 2000 research activities!

It represents a great accomplishment and we are very grateful to each person who contributed with their time and willingness to participate. The number of activities is proportional to the increase in knowledge and experience in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. Therefore, we are getting better in doing research with and for older adults and our projects become better with the knowledge about seniors.

A big thank you! We’ll keep making more and more activities with your collaboration, for sure!