Human-Centered Design: Comfort for People with Hearing Impairments
Audifon hearing aids are top-of-the-line devices with a high level of user-friendliness. WE designed an app to further enhance the user experience, making it easier and more convenient for hearing aid users to adapt to constantly changing situations. Among other things, the app allows users to control the devices so that they can easily adapt them to the context of their particular hearing situation. It also leverages the breadth of smartphone functionality: individual settings can be saved as favorites and linked to specific locations via GPS or Wifi, the phone can be used as a remote microphone, and audio from other apps can be streamed directly to the hearing aid.
The perspective of people with limited hearing on the world is not so easy to comprehend. Empathy has some clear limits in this case, as people sometimes learn over years to deal with the situation individually. Therefore, we developed the app according to the methods of Human-Centered Design in a co-creation process with users. We chose the framework because it is ideally suited to actively involve them in the product design. We drew on our experience in usability management and the support of the University of Bamberg to develop a robust concept for the product in a short time. In addition, we took over the validation, which is subject to special requirements for medical technology products, as well as the usability documentation to meet the requirements of US and EU law and for FDA approval.