The aim of phase 1 (2022) was to 1) define the methodology for the usability, user experience and user needs analysis 2) identify the gamification elements to be used in the new games developed in the project or adapted from the existing games, 3) develop the first version of the MERITT platform architecture and 4) disseminate the project via website, Facebook page, Linkedin page and press release.
Activity 1.1: Usability and user needs analysis (intermediate): consists of obtaining information that provides the possibility to adjust and implement technologies within the MERITT platform, and is composed of three components: 1) usability (in particular), 2) user experience (in general), and 3) needs. In this phase we have established all the necessary steps to obtain this information. This will be inferred by using semi-structured interviews combined and completed with the application of questionnaires on a target group of minimum 15 people, aged 65 years or older. We will focus on the following aspects: A) utilitarian motivation for use: expectations of performance/efficiency in use, required effort, social influences when used, perceived value, integration with existing habits and intention to use and B) hedonic motivation for use: perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, curiosity, satisfaction/pleasure, degree of control in use, level of immersion and intention to use. Quantitative data will be analysed using statistical software and qualitative information will be analysed using the thematic analysis method.
Activity 1.2: Defining the gamification elements needed for the platform (intermediate): in order to establish the gamification elements needed for the MERITT platform, we have carried out the classification of existing serious games for elderly people. We have concentrated on those which address the maintianing and improving their cognitive abilities. For this purpose a number of existing cognitive games were analysed, such as Smart Thinker, Gifts Purchase, MCI Rehab, Memory Game, Brain Farmer, In Anticipation of Death, Kitchen and Cooking, Live Well, Live Healthy!. In order to identify the parameters necessary to adapt the reward system to the user, a meta-analysis of the literature on rewards. We have considered rewards any type of feedback that assures the user that he/she has succesfully performed a task during the game, e.g., score, voice and/or text message, vibration. These are usually offered to elderly users while playing various games. Any game relies on the actions and challenges which the users (players) have to peform during the game. Thus, we extracted information about the type of actions implemented in the analysed games: placing objects, moving, collecting objects, destroying elements in the game, communicating, constructing a building or object. Possible challenges were also analysed: time limit to complete an action, use of limited resources, use of opponents, existence of obstacles, actions that can be solved by deductive or inductive reasoning, answering test questions to progress, searching and finding objects or the possibility to save a state.
Activity 1.3: MERITT architecture design and development (intermediate): we have described the current state of the MERITT platform architecture which is a centralised architecture. The interface uses the Android system, via a tablet, which serves as the primary means of user interaction and provides both the interface to the platform and the data collection. The health and activity devices use a software gateway installed on the tablet to transfer data to the tablet from where it is transferred via the local WiFi network or via a mobile data connection to the central server. Data viewing is implemented through a portal installed on the tablet. In order to establish the communication between the components of the platform, possible solutions have been analysed: REST and gRPC and a technical evaluation of synchronous communication has been carried out.
Activity 1.4: Dissemination via website and social media, press release on the project page or in social media: dissemination via website, Facebook page, Linkedin page and press release.