In 2017 my dad suffered a stroke the caused him to lose function of his left arm and leg. After a long stay in the hospital he was able to come home but still had limited use of his arm and leg – this meant he needed help getting around the house. He relied on his cell phone to call one of us when he needed something … but this became difficult in the middle of the night, with only one hand, and no glasses to see. He struggled to do something we all take for granted – navigate the phone dialer.
The problem seemed easy to fix. I built a quick android app that re-imagined the contacts app for him – I pulled out only the four contacts he needed to call for help, each one had its own full screen card with a giant photo of the person and big green “Call” button in the middle. The app used a dark color scheme with large white text so it would stand out the most in the dark. The next time he needed help in the middle of the night, he could grab his phone, and just swipe to find a person to call (The app defaulted to my mom’s number). The large photos made it easy to read at night, without glasses, and swipe-able gestures made it easy to navigate with just one hand no matter which way the phone was oriented.
After realizing the potential larger use case, I am working to rebuild Ding Ding as an Android App Launcher – creating a redesigned home screen experience for people with disabilities.