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This sketch starts to flesh out some thoughts around a "pre-tool:" A tool that gathers some basic information about the prospective user from a friend or family member.

The goal of the tool is NOT to start creating a set of preferences; It is to gather just enough basic information about the user's capabilities to get past that initial hurdle of not knowing anything about the user's capabilities.

The information gathered will be used to define, control, direct and filter the flow of the First Discovery tool. For example, if the pre-tool establishes that the user does not understand sign language, then the First Discovery tool will not bother to ask the use if they would prefer sign language. Most information given by the friend/family member will be verified by the user.


  • the pre-tool user (i.e. the friend or family member) is fully capable of using the pre-tool without any accommodations.


In the sketch below:

  • the numbered points represent a single screen;
  • the bullet points after a question are the answers that the user can choose from (likely radio buttons or check boxes);
  • the question marks represent where more or other options might be useful but I don't know what those might be;
  • the italicized text in brackets are my thoughts, questions or comments.


  • While this sketch was developed with the Seniors application setting in mind, I imagine the basic ideas would be applicable in other application settings.



1. Personal Identification



Preferred language

(include caveats that this information is only for customizing the language in the following screens)


2. System Identification (assuming a female user named Maude)

Is Maude going to be working on a particular type of system?

  • desktop computer
  • touch-screen tablet
  • touch-screen phone
  • ?

Has Maude ever seen/used this type of system before?

  • never seen
  • seen
  • seen, watched others use
  • tried once or twice
  • used a few times
  • used often
  • ?

Has Maude ever seen/used other types of computers before?

  • ?


3. Perception

Can Maude see?

  • just fine
  • some difficulty with:
    • small print
    • colour
    • peripheral vision
    • ?
  • very poorly
  • not at all

If Maude can see: Can she read text?

  • just fine
  • with reading glasses
  • if it's large print or she has some kind of magnifying glass
  • she can read it, but she doesn't really understand what she reads

Can Maude hear?

  • just fine
  • if you speak loudly
  • if you yell
  • not at all

If Maude can't hear:

  • Does she understand sign language?
    • if so, it it her first language?


4. Operation

  • Can Maude user her hands?
  • just fine
  • with a little bit of difficulty
  • with a lot of difficulty
  • not very well
  • not at all

(perhaps accompany the options with example tasks, but NOT computer-specific tasks, things like "use the buttons on a push-button phone" rather than "type on a keyboard")
(this might want to be check boxes rather than radio buttons, depending on the choices)

Can Maude speak?

  • just fine
  • quietly
  • slowly
  • not very clearly
  • not at all

(these options could be presented with examples)
(this might want to be check boxes rather than radio buttons, depending on the choices)

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