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Service Design
for Health Smart Homes

Using Generative Techniques and Participatory Research to Identify Key Factors for Developing Future Health Smart Homes

Project Brief

The goal of this project was to understand the needs of Baby Boomers for living in a Health Smart Home (HSH) and improve their quality of life through co-design approaches. Also, I aimed to showcase the role of designers in HSH design and how they can bring new tools to HSH team projects. 

There is an increasing demand for alternatives to traditional caregiving and healthcare facilities due to an aging population and a shortage of caregivers. Health Smart Homes (HSHs) have emerged as a promising solution, but the design process faces several challenges, including a lack of older adults' desire to live in them, a lack of understanding of their needs and challenges in them, and a lack of constructive collaboration between designers and researchers. This study recommends a holistic approach that considers not only the home but also other factors involved in Aging in Place, including the use of technology to better address the problem.


The research process utilized participatory research methods, co-design, a service design approach, and design thinking processes for this project.


The process was iterative and consisted of four main stages: Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver.

Discover stage

I explored the current scenario of Aging in Place, health-smart technologies, and problems and barriers related to Home Smart Homes (HSHs). This stage involved:

  • conducting informal interviews with experts to understand their challenges

  • conducting focused interviews with experts on the topic

  • conducting contextual interviews with Baby Boomers (which included visiting their home setting)

  • gathering homework completed by participants

  • visiting two HSH labs

  • conducting a co-design workshop with Baby Boomers


Define stage

The raw data was analyzed and organized into key categories. Analyzed data and recorded insights.


Develop stage

This stage involved:

  • developing a User Profile was developed

  • developing a Value Map was created


Deliver stage

I developed two sets of design suggestions for HSHs researchers and designers.



Documented the perceptions, interests, needs, challenges, and satisfaction of Baby Boomers with regard to future living scenarios.

The findings and recommendations can be used to inform the design of future HSHs that are more effective, appealing, and helpful for future older adults. This work should be of interest to researchers, designers, industry, decision-makers, and smart home service providers with regard to technology adoption. Overall, the project illustrated the capacity of design to better understand users' experiences through more empathic collaboration and articulated the role of designers in helping researchers and organizations to imagine future HSH scenarios.

For further information on this project and its outcomes, please refer to the following link to access my thesis research:

Toolbox - Key Techniques Utilized Across All Stages of this Study

Modified Design Thinking Model for This Study - Adapted from the Design Council’s Double Diamond Model

Design Thinking Approach Applied - Activities Performed in Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver Phases

Generative Techniques - Applying the Say-Do-Make Framework in this Research

Value Proposition Canvas - User Profile to Understand User Desires and Expectations

Value Proposition Canvas - Value Map for Representing Key Values in Home Smart Homes

Data Analysis Process Employed in This Study

Visual Journey of the Study - Preparation of Homework Activities, Completed Homework, Co-design Session, Designed Future Home Examples, and Data Analysis

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