Development and evaluation of a user-centred user interface prototype for medication management in smart home systems to support elderly people and relatives of dementia patients

Alexander Dellert

Master Digital Healthcare, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences 2024

Aim and Research Question(s)

The aim of this study ist o develop, evaluate, and optimize a user-friendly, accessible interface for a Smart-Home system tailored to the needs of people with dementia and older adults. RQ #1: To what extent do specific design features, such as simplicity, aesthetics, usability, and functionality, influence the satisfaction of the target users, including caregivers and individuals over 75 years old, with the prototype system? RQ #2: How do family caregivers of people with dementia and older people aged 75 and over rate the usability and effectiveness of a user interface designed to remind them to take their medication, measured by response times, error rates and subjective impressions?


This research addresses the critical issue of medication management for people with dementia, utilizing smart home systems for enhanced support. Existing solutions often lack usability for this group, motivating the development of a user-friendly UI prototype tailored for medication management. By prioritizing intuitive design, the aim is to create a tool that is accessible and efficient for end users. Through real-world research and iterative development, the goal is not only to advance assistive technologies but also to directly improve the lives of individuals with dementia and older adults. The ultimate objective is to develop a prototype that promotes independence, enhances medication safety, and alleviates caregiver burden. [1]


A user-centred design approach was chosen to achieve the set goals: 1. Understanding and specifying the context of the problems in practice 2. Design of the prototype in Figma 3. Development of a prototype in Visual Studio Code 4. Merging with the L-Control 5. Evaluation through a usability test with questionnaires and application tests in real time

Results and Discussion

The study highlights the importance of user-centred UI design for older people and relatives of dementia patients by emphasising adaptation to specific needs, clear and intuitive designs and personalisation options to improve user satisfaction and experience and increase quality of life. Limitations include the limited sample size, and future research should consider the long-term impact of the system and a broader user base.


This master's thesis presents a significant step towards empathetic technology design by developing a user-friendly user interface prototype for smart home systems to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers. The profound implications emphasise the need for aesthetic and intuitive design aspects for the usability and emotional well-being of these vulnerable populations.


Zheng, J; Gresham, M; Philipson, L; Hall, D; Jeon, Y; Brodaty, H Exploring the usability, user experience and usefulness of a supportive website for people with dementia and carers