User experience case study into solving a community crisis

My Role
Project Time

Pitch built for Division X
UX/UI designer
3 weeks

Background of the issue

The Swedish Theory of Love is a documentary that covers many factors surrounding why people in Sweden will commonly spend the extent of their lives isolated from family, friends or loved ones. For the elderly, this can be particularly difficult and ultimately fatal and damaging to their quality of life.

Defining the problem

Various perspectives define how I approach the problem, so defining what problem I am trying to solve depends on understanding the context. From the goal of ‘Create a contact point to prevent elderly dying alone in Stockholm’ there are three possible interpretations that were presented to me after my first interview with Dr. Patricia Buckley;
– are we trying to prevent elderly being alone
– are we trying to prevent elderly dying alone
– are we trying to prevent elderly not being found when they die

The core question is, where does this become wrong? That they die alone? That they have no contact? Or that they're not found?
- Dr. Patricia Buckley
I believe in providing a preventative solution to a problem rather than a curative, and in this case in particular the latter two interpretations seem more serving of the community’s comfort rather than the individual’s comfort.

Every angle of research

The short timeframe for this project means a rapid understanding of the scope of the problem without sacrificing quality of the information.

Quantitive information

Facts and figures are crucial information to support the need for this solution so I focused on the results of the problem when unmanaged as it currently is. This information is from various papers and statistical data. It is painting a picture of Sweden as having the highest rate of poverty for people over 65 in Scandinavia, men living alone in their old age and many not having any children.

Qualitative information

However shocking the quantitive data is, it illustrates that the core of the issue is a qualitative one, so understanding the behavioural aspects of the elderly becomes the main priority. In my stakeholder interviews, we discussed the scope of caretakers’ social involvement with the clientele and the overall attitudes and behaviours of elderly. The results begged for an interview with the demographic and more desktop research to understand the key pain points for elderly living alone. Surprisingly, loneliness was discovered to not be a big factor, but instead making plans for ritualistic behaviours like meal times and shopping were highly desired. The strongest barrier for these behaviours was a combination of poor physical ability, lack of financial freedom, and the technological learning curve required to take advantage of self care services.

Dr. Patricia Buckley
Expert in elderly care​
Cecilia Collins
Micheal Caine (identity redacted)
Solitary resident

Synthesising Research

I have used a combination of data clustering, affinity mapping and information architecture to synthesise this data into actionable resources.

Impact vs viability affinity mapping for design solutions to previously identified painpoints
Information architecture broken down into three main sections


From the data synthesis and information architecture, I have defined the problem by three main focal areas;
– Tools to easily facilitate daily ritualistic activities
– Events to facilitate social engagement and a sense of purpose
– Self care to facilitate information focused on accessibility of information surrounding self improvement.

The key focus in solutions is to facilitate the positive choices the elderly already want to make rather than belittle them by forcing their hand. The intent is to collaborate with companies like Uber, SL, Red Cross, self help and nutritional blogs to offer discounted rates for elderly in exchange for opening new market demographic potentials.

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