Design a product that can provide a personal health improvement plan, encourage and assist senior residents to complete the plan. 

Key Skills

Primary and Secondary Research, System Diagrams, Concept Presentation, Mockups

Course Advisor

Graham Plumb


A social fitness game that motivates elderly people to do exercises for their wellness in senior centers with audio visualization and motion tracking

Project Length

4 months

A User Story

Linde received an email from her friend Monica who invites her to join a new fitness game.

The game suggests Linda sync with her health care providers to check her health condition before the start. Then She picks a plan of how much time she wants to spend on the game.

She doesn't have a song in her mind, so she taps on an emoji, and let the system generate a song for her.

Linda does some neck warm-up exercises with the avatar, the system detects her motion and learn about how fast or slow she responds.

Then Linda starts a fitness room and invites her friends to join.

One friend joins her. They follow the music as stretching, it appears a rainbow on the screen to give them motion feedback.

After one week, Linda checks the progress she has been made.






Design Challenge

Today there are over 35 million senior citizens suffering from at least one chronic illness.


For many elderly people, exercise can be boring and repetitive. 

How might we motivate residents to do exercises for their wellness in senior centers? 


For the last two years, I've been working at Tech Exchange. a non-profit organization, providing digital literacy training for residents of senior centers in the Bay Area. Inspired by the interactions with the elderly residents, I wanted to find ways that my design practice could support the community. After speaking with over 45 elderly people, it became clear that many of them want to improve their health.


After I did some secondary research on how to make exercising fun, I generated some ideas, such as letting people revisit their childhood and sharing with life stories with the group.


I had the idea to create an activity of life story sharing in a group. In order to motivate people to work out together and have a positive spirit. After I presented the concept in class, I got feedback to change life story to song sharing because story sharing takes more time.


I tested my idea with residents at 

Eden Lodge, in San Leandro. People felt very excited when hearing their favorite songs. Even some of them did not stand up, they were moving their arms to follow the music.

I tested my idea with residents at 

Southlake Tower, in Oakland. A couple started to dance when they heard the song they chose. 

I tested my idea with residents at 

St. Mary's Garden, in Oakland. There were 9 Chinese speakers and one English speaker. When the Chinese song was sharing with the group, even the English speaker did not understand the song, she enjoyed the rhythm.


Based on the feedback and observation I gained from the tests, I refined my design with a clear pose demo and music visualization.


I did another round of testing with my target audience. They liked the idea of working out with other residents at the center and sharing music. 


Changing people's behavior is always a challenging topic for me. Along this way, I learned a lot of using nudges to increase people's motivation with technology. I am glad that I have a great opportunity to work with the target group, which helps me to develop concepts and ideas from our conversations. During the process, I found that it's interesting to see how people interact with each other and the computer. Technology is treated as an assistant to create a unique digital experience during the time. However, sometimes people focus on the screen too much and forget to have interaction with the person standing next to him or her. As a designer, I feel challenged to balance how much stimulation should apply to increase the attraction and how much attention people should pay on each other.