Wearables and Wearability: Care home residents tell us about their style preferences

The BESiDE design team visited a local care home who are working with the research project last week to host a co-design workshop. A small group of residents were invited to meet with the team in a design session where they could critique and customize ‘pouch’ designs that could hold location based sensors. The prototype designs were created to include residents’ initial advice from a previous visit as to preferred colours, textures and patterns.

Participants were asked what they liked, disliked or would change aesthetically about the prototypes. They also had the option to alter or change to the prototypes to illustrate their preference or decorate plain pouches with additonal craft materials, fabrics and fastenings.

Key comments included;

“Bolder, brighter colours would be good as I’d see the design better”

“This design is ‘too young’ for me”

“This design is very nice but too big for me to carry”

One resident talked the team through her fabric and colour preferences; “I have always been attracted to a good red; I like a classic style.” She showed the designers her spectacle case to confirm this before choosing a traditional wool fabric in a red and beige houndstooth pattern, with a red leatherette as a contrast for her ideal wearable design. “These fabrics are very attractive; very classic. Anything too colourful is not for me.”

The team are taking all of the resident’s comments into consideration in revising and developing the prototypes for a follow up co-design session. In the next session, the team plan to also explore residents' preferred ways to wear the pouches; as side bags or attached to their belts, for example.

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