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Help Seniors Go Anywhere, Anytime

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3 months (Oct - Dec 2022)


Angela Chan
Luka Liu
Michelle Wu
Paxon Wallace


Usability testing 
Video editing


Adobe Suite




Senior centers, recognized by the Older Americans Act (OAA) as a community focal point, are one of the most widely used services among America’s older adults. Compared with their peers, older adults who participate in senior center activities have higher health, social interaction, and life satisfaction levels

However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one-third of all seniors live by themselves. Seniors do not always have access to private transportation and are not always able to utilize public transportation to get to the senior center. At the same time, many senior centers have reported having fewer resources and manpower to serve seniors due to labor shortages


How might we meet the transportation needs of seniors so that we may ease the logistics and resource burden on senior center staff?  


With the aim of solving this problem, we came up with DriveMe - a call-based service that allows seniors to independently arrange rides to and from the senior center without having to directly interface with a ride-share app

Automated Phone System
Launch Video


Before we could arrive at our solution, we first had to get an understanding of our users and who we were designing for.

As part of our research we used three research methods to drive and scope our project:

Secondary Research

Easily accessible and helped us to gain a high-level understanding of seniors, their goals and surrounding environment

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Our team was researching studies and articles about seniors and climate change

Fly On The Wall Observation

Observed how seniors behaved at senior center and interacted with the staff and organization 


Observing seniors' daily activities in Central Area Senior Center

User Interview

Conducted one-on-one semi-structured and unstructured interview to gain an understanding of seniors' preferences, needs, motivations and issues senior center staff are faced with


Conversing with a 98-year old senior

Key Insights - 

01     The majority of seniors would visit the center to participate in specific

         pre-planned activities

02     Some seniors would need to drive themselves or contact MetroAccess to

         take them to the center

03     Seniors had difficulties visiting centers when the weather is bad

         because some of them couldn't get to the center on their own

Key Insights - 
Senior Center Staff

01     Senior center has an inadequate staffing issue

02     The staff have to arrange carpools in order to provide an alternative for

         seniors who have difficulties commuting to the center

03     Senior center staff need more support for transportation to

         accommodate seniors with commute assistance



Using the findings from our research, we generated two personas that helped us better orient our design goals and guide our design decision.
User Personas


Firstly, we created a set of design requirements as guidelines for the ideation process. Then we used  the Crazy 8's method to come up with multiple ideas. Next, we evaluated the strengths, weaknesses, feasibility and originality of each idea before refining our three most promising ideas. 
Three Main Ideas

01     AI-based Shuttle Service: AI-based dispatcher will call the active

         members of the senior center to schedule rides to and from the senior

         center. All ride requests will be fed into a system to generate the most

         optimal shuttle route and the number of shuttles needed for the day.

         Rides will then be assigned to volunteer drivers or staff drivers of the

         senior center

02     Volunteer Book: A network of volunteers helping the senior

         center with resource issues. Senior center staff will vet the

         volunteers before adding them to the network and seniors can call

         volunteers based on the volunteer's profile

03     Ride-share Program for Seniors: A community-mode feature within

         ride-share apps that provides free or affordable rides for senior users.

         Seniors are able to request a ride on-demand via a ride-share app or a

         “Senior-friendly” call-in option. Drivers, charities, and corporations can

         contribute by donating their time or money to fund rides

DriveMe - Automated Phone System
After evaluating these three ideas thoroughly, we decided to combine AI-based Shuttle Service and Ride-share Program for Seniors to form an automated phone system and called this service as "DriveMe".
AI-based Shuttle Service

01     Minimum technological literacy from seniors

02     Optimal route would shorten ride duration

03     Reduce the burden of commute planning on senior center staff

Ride-share Program for Seniors

01     Eliminate workload on senior center staff

02     Allow seniors to access the same transportation services

         as everyone else does



Firstly, we created a user flow accordingly because it could help us to know what actions a user has to take and also informed us of the interactions that we would need to consider during the prototyping stage. 
User Flow Diagram

* Box in gray is triggered by the system
* Box in white denotes user actions

Information Architecture
We started building out DriveMe into a medium-fidelity prototype to proceed with usability testing. To aid the design process of our prototype, we created the information architecture of DriveMe to get a sense of the scale and structure
The information architecture of the automated phone system.png
There are three levels to our information architecture which support key interactions:
  • Arranging rides to and from the center

  • Ride confirmation calls

  • Ride notification calls

* There are other interactions documented in our

   information architecture but we will only be focusing

   on the three mentioned above for the scope of this project

Medium Fidelity Prototype
With the information architecture in place, we could identify key flows which we wanted to test during our usability testing sessions. With the use of voice recordings and Google Slides, we created a clickable prototype to aid us with our usability testing
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Script for DriveMe's automated system

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Clickable prototype to demonstrate the experience of interacting with DriveMe



We held our usability testing sessions at the Central Area Senior Center with four participants and the recruitment was through snowball sampling with the help of senior center staff. Testing was aimed at finding out if DriveMe was desirable and if it was easy to use for seniors

Conducted usability testing with a senior

Key Findings

01     Participants were very receptive to DriveMe and found it easy to use

02     While seniors were receptive to DriveMe and felt it easy enough to

         use, they conveyed their apprehension with technology

03     Participants were pleased to have more transportation options

         which would give them more flexibility

04     DriveMe can be extended to be accessible to seniors who are

         visually impaired with voice command


01     Sample size of participants was not sufficient for a qualitative study

02     Participants were not savvy with digital prototypes

03     Required more testings by using devices that seniors are familiar with



After gathering insights from testing, we created a phone interface mock up and recorded the experience of engaging with DriveMe automated phone system to demonstrate the interaction between DriveMe and seniors.
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DriveMe is calling a senior and asking whether he/she needs a ride to the senior center


Senior just needs to use keypad to arrange rides

Onboarding Program

In order to reduce seniors’ apprehension with technology, we also developed a preliminary onboarding program which could help reduce cognitive load on seniors when being introduced to new service and help build their trust towards the service

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Launch Video

I also created an animated launch video, which could help us to illustrate more information in a more appealing way and telling a story of how DriveMe can help seniors move around independently



01 Focus on the process and not the solution 
Discovering the right solution only happens once you reach a reasonable level of understanding of the problems and users
02 Engage in active listening and probe
Paying attention to the conversations and probing participants would help exploring side conversations that you don't anticipate
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