Games for Grandpad

Single and Multi-player games designed for the elderly

My Role: Design  |  Research  |  Usability Testing|  Development

Tools: Balsamiq | Photoshop | Android Studio  

January- May 2015 Senior Design Team Project


Senior Citizens often struggle to use technology and avoid it as a result. This can have multiple negative effects such as a lack of interaction with family and friends that they don’t see daily or a lack of mental and motor skill stimulation. 


GrandPad is a proprietary operating system built over android and delivered on a nexus 7 tablet. It has been designed specifically for the elderly to facilitate easy communication and increase cognitive activity. It comes preloaded and set up with a user's information and contacts which are provided by a family member. 

For my senior capstone project, my teammate and I were tasked with designing multiplayer games to include on the tablet. In addition to designing multiplayer games as a means of interaction with family and friends, our sponsor was curious if prolonged use of GrandPad and the games would improve or maintain memory and motor skills. One game we designed was checkers.



Research was conducted throughout this design process:

Conducted contextual inquiry at various assisted living homes to understand how the elderly interacted with technology
Interviewed participants to gauge what kind of games were familiar to them
Usability testing and heuristic evaluation to ensure the game was easy to interact with
Ran additional usability tests with deployed game
Take Aways

  • Most users were not technically savy
  • Participants expected that they could interact with the digital games in the same way they do the physical ones

  • Swipe gestures were not native to users

  • "Home" and "back" do not have technical meaning 

  • The more options on the screen, the slower the participants interacted with the prototype


*Limited screens and interaction shown due to NDA