The team of iCareCoops met for a two-day working meeting in Lubjljana (Slovenia) to kick-off work package 3 CONECPT. The objective of the meeting was to have a shared understanding of the research results and lay the conceptual foundation for the technical specification of the iCareCoops solutions. Thus, work package 2 results have been presented, to get all participants on the same page. In multiple workshop sessions personas have been defined, user stories generated, module and feature descriptions derived and first wireframes designed. Through everyone’s contribution at this early stage of the technical specification, we could gather all the dispersed knowledge in one place and aggregate it into first concepts.
End-users are open to ICT and favour mobile solutions
ZHAW summarised main insights, learnings and first requirements identified for the conception phase. The most valuable results for the working meeting concerned the stakeholder studies, especially from the user group. Interestingly, users are more open to ICT than the providers, favouring mobile solutions. Ease of use and detailed video tutorials or voice assistance are important to them though. Personal contact is vital for providers. Relatives of care-takers as well as more experienced ICT users would profit most from the iCareCoops solution. Some obstacles include missing internet access of seniors, lack of computers and financial resources of the people interested in founding their own care cooperative. The first focus groups also pointed out, that the full potential of ICT cannot be imaged by a lot of end-users.
Lack of resources is the main obstacle of ICT use for cooperatives
Cooperatives Europe highlighted major challenges and opportunities based on their investigation of cooperatives across Europe. There is a huge diversity of membership systems and public support. Most coopertives need a marketing strategy besides word of mouth and desire a stabilization of their business model. Because of the flat hierarchies voting and management processes would benefit a lot from ICT services. They tend to be aware of the advantages of ICT usage but lack time, money and skills and show concern about accessibility. ZDUS closed the presentation slot with an overview of AAL solutions.
May we introduce, Knud (75), care-receiver
iDeal started the workshop sessions with an overview of their app development process before the consortium split up into two working groups. The outputs of the first session were three personas i.e. “Hildegard” (50 years), who has to take care of her mother, “Knud” (75 years), who lives alone on his farm and needs care, and “Herbert” (37 years), who works as a physical therapist for a cooperative. With these archetypical end-users in mind a collection of about seventy first requirements in the form of user stories were derived from the research results. These requirements have been taken as basis for initial module and feature descriptions of the core compontents Foundation Navigator, AAL Solution Selector, Membership Management, Care Coop Presenter, Collective Buying and the Mobile App. The results were put into wireframes and presented to the consortium to get feedback from the other team. The meeting was closed with a brainstorming and strategy session for dissemination and administrative tasks.
The workshop resulted in fruitful discussions and led to a much clearer understanding of the technical solutions, its USP and user-flow from hearing about the iCareCoops concept for the first time to founding an own enterprise.