The orange Push device next to a laptop and micro USB chord

current landscape

Assistive technology (AT) is an afterthought when designing inclusive products or digital experiences for people with disabilities.

PROBLEM

As a result, people with disabilities have to face several barriers through doctors and insurance to get an AT in order to use everyday devices.

It takes over 3 months and $900 to give a person with disabilities access to the digital world.

opportunity

Use open source code Arduino to make a readily available and inexpensive AT.

SOLUTION

Push.
Inclusive tech with a fresh approach.

A closeup of the long orange rectangular device with rounded edges

push

Push is an Arduino based keyboard that allows the use of a computer without the constraints of a medical acquisition.

An image of Push's logo an orange oval shape with push written in white text

how it works

Push uses an Arduino Leonardo where the person gives an action like pushing a button, the Arduino microcontroller reads that action and gives the command to the computer to do.

arduino

an animation where a button is pressed the microcontroller blinks and makes buttons on the computer move

prototype

I used this prototype to navigate in the Google Chrome browser to a website, jump to another page on that same website and scroll down.

an annotated image of arduino and electrical circuits

1. Arduino Leonardo Microcontroller
2. Power source for the push buttons
3. Micro USB which outputs to computer
4. Inputs for each push button
5. Resistors to control voltage
6. Breadboard to base all 6 circuits

7. Tab to pass through link options
8. Enter to select a link option
9. Up to scroll up
10. Down to scroll down
11. Left to move left
12. Right to move right

features

Push connects to your computer via micro USB. It has 6 soft push buttons for easy function and a rubber siding to prevent the device from moving while in use.

an annotation of the proposed final product pointing out the micro usb push buttons and rubber siding

ux journey

This was made with recent spinal injury patients in mind. After rehabilitation patients are sent home to face 3 more months of doctor appointments, insurance approvals and shipping deliveries.

Push aims to reduce that wait time to a week or less by making the product available through online and physical retail stores.

an animation reducing the time to get an AT from 12 weeks to 1 week

WHY THIS WORKS

It can be difficult for people with disabilities to use a traditional keyboard. Fine motor skills or hand deformations can vary and Push's large, soft buttons are easy for many to use.

I showed the design and prototype to Hannah Brown, an Occupational Therapist at VCU Rehabilitation and she loved the idea.

A profile image of Hannah Brown gazing to the right

HANNAH BROWN

Clinical Social Worker with Spinal Injury, VCU Health

“It’s great! Sometimes the mouse and keypad can be too much of a fine motor skill to use. They may graduate from this but it’s still a skill that they’re benefitting from for the long run.”

STYLEGUIDE

Push's symbol is influenced by the schematic symbol for a push button in electrical circuits. The primary orange color is popular in the accessibility community and the green hints at the Arduino microcontroller's color. The large font type and weight makes it easier for low vision patients to read text on the buttons.

Push's colors are an energetic orange and blueish green The font is called poppins and the symbol is 2 perpendicular lines

NEXT STEPS

At the moment I'm working on making a physical prototype of the product I've modeled below. Stay tuned!

A close up of Push AT

ROLE

UX Research
Rapid Prototyping
Product Design
3D Modeling

TOOLKIT

Arduino
Cinema 4D
Fritzing

team

Gloryah Allen, XD