How might we get more users to make actions that create user investment, making the New York Times a habit for 25-40-year-olds ? 

JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2017

90% of digital revenue comes from subscribers and people who visit the New York Times website 4 or more times per month. A key discovery is that people who use a service for long periods of time are more likely to pay for it. The Times also found that if users of its Cooking app took the action to save recipes to their Recipe Box, they were more likely to subscribe. The traditions of the Times’ 162-year history are interpreted by younger readers as stuffy and elitist, but readers under the age of 40 will determine the Times’ future success.

 


User Research

I want to know everything that is happening around me.
— Sharon, who is visually impaired
People with smartphones often walk towards me because they are busy looking at their phones in the street.
— Liz, who is a blind person

From research and conversations, we learned how blind people use white canes to navigate the streets. The cane primarily functions as a mobility tool. However, the blind told us that reckless pedestrians often bump into their canes.


How it works?

The smart cane utilizes sensors and light.  A water sensor located in the tip of the cane identifies potentially hazardous conditions (e.g. puddles and slippery floor surfaces).  When a detection is made, the user is alerted through a vibration in the handle. LEDs are strategically located at the end of the cane to catch the attention of pedestrians distracted by cellphones.  Light output intensifies when the cane is actively in use (tapping). This increases awareness and minimizes the potential for collision.

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 a. Pizeo & LED Lights  Tapping the ground with the tip of the cane will result in the brightening of the cane’s light.

a. Pizeo & LED Lights

Tapping the ground with the tip of the cane will result in the brightening of the cane’s light.

 b. Water Sensor & Vibe Motor & Sound  The water sensor is capable of detecting shallow puddles and will alert users with vibration and sound.

b. Water Sensor & Vibe Motor & Sound

The water sensor is capable of detecting shallow puddles and will alert users with vibration and sound.

Schematic Diagram

 The circuit diagram

The circuit diagram


Prototyping/Feedback

We received positive feedback from the blind and visually impaired from user testing on the smart cane. In the testing section, they found pedestrians started noticing them more than with normal cane, avoiding pumping into them and their canes, especially at night. In addition, users also appreciated the puddle detection feature, and said they would like the cane to detect deeper puddles on the street. Overall, they felt much more powerful and secure when using the smart cane and are excited about it.