Elderly Assistant LEA

Creating a completely new kind of experience


During my career I switched from tangible to intangible products, and with the design and user interface for LEA (Lean Elderly Assistant) both worlds came together.

LEA is a robot that takes over tasks from (human) carers who look after the elderly and disabled people. Together with a small team of designers and engineers we had the opportunity to create a whole new kind of product and experience. My role was to create a user interface that was intuitive and easy to use, compliant with the the behaviour of the robot, and was understandable for the elderly. The interface involved the interaction with the interface touchscreen, but also the sounds, lights and movement of the robot.

Because the product was one of a kind, there was no reference and we had to start from scratch. We started with doing user research: we gathered a lot of feedback from caretakers and elderly people. Based on that information we could quickly prototype and test certain design decisions in a agile way. I did not only create the userflows, wireframes and mockups to test the interactions, but I was also responsible for the final visual design, which included all animations, icons, light effects and sounds that were used in the interface.

You can see the product in action here:

We only had 1.5 years to create a working prototype; it was a challenging project. But, seeing the elderly navigate through my well considered interface was totally worth it. In my view, the great teamwork contributed significantly to making LEA a huge success. This was later also recognised by the popular press, as we received a lot of praise. Winning several awards (like the GIO award) really was the icing on the cake.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for more information about the design process of this project, or read more about the robot in general on the website of Spark design & innovation.