We researched technologies that are currently assisting people with impaired vision in daily life. Things like braille en text to speech are the obvious options that came into mind. We also looked into more futuristic technologies like a braille touch screen and finger reader.
ATM field research
At the start we did not yet know what our focus would be for the final prototype so we decided to do some field research. We tested payment terminals and ATMs from an interaction point of view, and tried to pinpoint possible bottlenecks for the visually impaired.
For our application to be useful for the blind and visually impaired we needed to understand their needs and wants. Therefore we interviewed several people from this target group and tested our prototype in different stages with them. The results leaded to refreshing insights.
Walley is an app that makes it possible to pay with your iPhone. You no longer need a debit card or use your pin code. Instead, payments can easily be made with biometric verification on the iPhone. An iPhone app would fit the target audience because it offers accessibility features. These allow the blind and visually impaired to navigate through apps with minimum errors.
The braille watch makes use of two technologies. A relative new braille smartwatch technology and NFC technology. This concept focuses on payment with NFC and quick and small braille feedback. Users will be able to read things like the price and whether the payment was successful or not.
The final concept is based on a vision we have for the future of payment transactions. Payment terminals will be gone and physical money and debit cards are also no longer needed. The payment will be sent out in a local area and can be received and accepted on your personal device. At this point in time this device will be your smartphone but this could change in the future.
We focussed on a few design guidelines to give our users the best experience:
- Our application needs to give clear feedback, so that every kind of user can easily use it to make payments.
- The design needs to be kept simple, as it is especially challenging for blind people to locate something when there is too much information.
- We should include a functionality that makes it easy to withdraw money, since currently this seems an impossible task for blind and visually impaired people.
Choosing the right visual identity for our application was a challenging task, because the visually impaired have different needs. We wanted the application to feel familiar, secure and calm. To gather insights, we approached the visually impaired and people with normal sight to fill in a survey about their color preferences. The color blue seemed the preferred color for both target groups, and fits the look and feel that we wanted.
Our computer science team members developed a working iOS application as final prototype. Developing this app was quite challenging, since they were unacquainted with the programming language Swift. Therefore, our goal was to at least finish the core functionality - making a wireless payment with biometric verification. The development had its highs and lows, but in the end the whole team is satisfied with the result.
Your digital wallet
Walley turns your mobile phone into a payment device. The app can store multiple debit cards, save all your receipts, and plan your money withdrawal beforehand in your own safe environment. No hassle in finding your debit cards, losing your receipts, or long queues at the ATMs. Using your PIN is not required, just verify with secure biometrics.
Secure & fast payment
Walley replaces all your debit cards. Within the app you can select a default bank account to use for payment. Making a payment is as following:
- Open Walley
- Put your smartphone onto the NFC chip of the payment terminal
- Verify the payment with biometrics or a digit code
Easily withdraw money
Walley keeps your money withdrawal plan until you decide to pick up the money later. Planning your money withdrawal is very easy and can be done in your own safe environment:
- Open Walley
- Choose ‘Geld opnemen’
- Type or tell Walley what amount you want to collect
Walley will always provide proper feedback whether you are paying at the cashier or withdrawing money at the bank. This feedback consists of the usual toasts, haptic feedback and a voice-over for the visually impaired.