Helper Project


The Helper Project is a three-week group project. The goal is to design a physical object to help solve a single problem for someone who is blind. This object should be both personalized to the person we interviewed and helpful to someone who is either differently disabled or non-disabled.


In order to understand our target user’s need and motivations, We interviewed two people who are undertaking this disadvantages -David is born blind, Susan is partially sighted because of cataract. Based on learning from the interviews and secondary research, we created two fictional personas for our product.


We started to create a user journey map that visualize how their first day at work would look like based on the findings we learnt and how technology might be helpful.

“First Day of Work”


Current Assistive Technologies

We also did some research around the current assistive technologies:


Based on the interview and research, we decided to propose 3 designed objects that help to improve blind people’s experience with daily activities. By creating thinking-through and acting-through potential scenarios, we were able to validate our concepts and reveal potential problems before making a high-fidelity prototypes.

A cane that assists navigation with tactile feedback
A ring with multi-functions
A pair of glasses that recognizes environment and people

User Flow

We decided to move further with the first design concept – the ring. We started to design the voice control system that supports the proposed functionality. We picked Navigation as the area to explore first.

Samatha – a voice control system that integrates seamlessly into your daily life

User Testing&Feedback

Unfortunately we didn’t have the budget and resource to perform user testings with the target user, we went with a quick and dirty way to gain more feedback – we tested with people who were blind folded. Although it wasn’t ideal, we still found out some insights.

Key Findings:

  • Let the user be aware of the direction at the beginning.
  • Provide information that is contextual and easier to understand such as turn left/right rather than turn to south/north.
  • The information has to be specific and detailed such as directions, bus info, location name.
  • Avoid instructions which contains no direct guidance.
  • Switching between functions – e.g. getting on the bus and paying with the same app

Using Keynote as the prototype tool

Vivian Wang