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ChatTea

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Overall rating:
  • 4/5
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  • Example chat reply with pictogram
  • Example question with possible answers
  • Management of pictogram categories

What does it consist of:

Facilitating the communication of people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) with their family or friends is an essential task and this application is a further advance in this regard, improving the communication of people belonging to this group.
 
We will analyze the application on both Android and IOs since the app is available on both devices.
It is an instant messaging application, specially designed for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, so that they can communicate easily and safely with their relatives and social groups.
 

Forms of Acquisition:

We can easily download the application from the Play Store if we have an Android device or from the App Store if we have an Apple device, note that the application in both operating systems is completely free.

Download the Android version at the following link:

Link download ChatTea for Android

Download the iOS version at the following link:

Link download ChatTea IOs

Technical verification:

Author: Julián Mª Morejón Carmona
Date: February 2021
 
ChatTea allows you to send predefined messages with pictograms, images, with audio or text, according to the needs of the sender of the messages and also thinking about the receiver of the same, in addition to these options the app allows you to send free text with emoticons, audio, images , as in any other messaging application, counting on a special sound every time we receive a notification so that we do not miss absolutely anything.
 
ChatTEA is part of the Apdif application platform, a platform focused on facilitating people's autonomy and focused on helping those who have difficulties in communication, learning, execution, etc… To achieve a more inclusive, sensitive and receptive society.
In this review we will do an analysis of the app for both Android devices and IOs, focused on Android mobile devices with version 9 and for IOs version 13.4.1.
 

Interaction

Next, we will analyze the app and its different aspects in depth.

Once the app is installed, starting to use it is very simple, having 3 options: create an account, log in with Facebook and log in with google.
 
With the session started, we can begin to receive or send messages, a chat will be activated by default, with the contact name of Daniela, a person belonging to the Apdif platform. If we want to add contacts to the application we will have to go to the lower right corner, where there is an icon with the + symbol, we will select it, it will then show us the available contacts to start a chat, if we select the + symbol again, The interface to add a new contact will appear, having 2 ways to add it by entering a code that is obtained by selecting the option to share contact (which we will explain later) or by scanning a QR code, the latter option being a bit more complex and difficult to carry out by some users.
 
Once added, our contacts, we can begin to communicate, through the app, if we want to share our contact information, it will be enough to select the 3 points that are in the upper right corner and in the options that will appear choose to share contact, A new interface appears where our user code and our contact QR will be displayed, making sharing our contact easy.
 
It is important to mention that depending on the level of ASD of the user, the steps of adding and sharing contacts can be somewhat complex, having to be the person's tutor who configures this part of the app.
 
Communication, through the app is quite good and simple, you can appreciate the effort of the developer so that it is correctly adapted to people with ASD, whether they have a mild or severe level, in the chat we will have multiple options to communicate, That will vary depending on the configuration that we have established in the app settings, which we will comment on later, among the types of messages that we can send we have: 
 
- Text: We can write and associate pictograms with the written text as possible answers, so that the receiver can choose them.
 
Sample question with text
 
- Image: We can choose between images from the gallery or take a photo with the camera.
- Audio: We can record an audio message with the device's microphone.
 
Example sending audio in a chat
 
- Location: We can send our location in real time, as long as we have GPS activated.
 
Example send location in a chat
 
 
As we can see, we have a series of very complete options that cover all the possible functionalities of any instant messaging application. Being the communication in the chats very fruitful and well designed, although you can see a certain slowness when loading the chats and accessing them, missing a bit of optimization in terms of the speed of the application.
 
The settings of the app can be accessed through the 3 points located in the upper right corner, where when selecting them, various options and the settings between them will be displayed, once inside the settings, we can establish whether the account is a tutor or not and see the categories of the account, this option is very interesting, since it allows us to add new personalized categories, if we select the + symbol, located in the lower right corner, allowing us to add the images or pictograms that we want, being a very interesting for the app, since it allows a more in-depth or personalized communication with the people in the group who use the app.
 
Manage Pictogram Categories Settings
 
In summary, the application adequately meets its objectives, provides a stable and safe alternative for people with mild or more severe ASD to communicate with their close groups and the options it offers for communication are very complete and expandable, it is missing a bit of optimization in some sections and a method to add contacts adapted to people with more severe ASD.
 

Affordability

As we have commented previously, the application is designed for people with ASD, the accessibility for this group being quite careful and fully complying in this aspect, although the aspect of adding contacts would need to be improved.
 
For other groups of people, the app can be used with the necessary adaptations if the user requires it, for people with vision difficulties, screen readers such as Talkback can be used, since the app has the necessary labeling for readers screen, in the case of people with physical difficulties, if the case requires it, they can use screen buttons, so that both cases can use the app without complications.
 

Conclusions

After testing it carefully, we can conclude that it constitutes an interesting alternative for people with ASD to be able to communicate without difficulties through their Android devices and IOs, adding a greater inclusion of the group in the technological field and instant messaging. It has a simple but well-designed interface and with very complete functionalities, although the optimization of the app should be improved, to facilitate a more fluid use and more efficient conversations. Comment that being available both for Android, as for IOs, it encompasses the entire user community, a very important aspect, since it guarantees that the app is available to any user regardless of their device.

Highlights

  • Customization : You can create custom categories, with images or pictograms that you want, greatly expanding the communication possibilities.
  • Complete: We can communicate, through the application, in multiple ways, covering the most useful communication options for our day to day.
  • Interface: The interface is simple and attractive, navigating through it is comfortable and allows anyone with mild or more severe ASD to function adequately.
     

Improvement points

  • Optimization: The application has load times or hangs when accessing some functionalities or conversations, further optimization would be quite interesting to guarantee a comfortable use for the user.
  • Add contact method: Although the app has two alternatives to add a contact, people with a medium or severe ASD, it may be difficult for them to add a new contact, so a new method or easier option for these users to add contacts would be great utility.
     

 

  • Design and manufacturing: 4 5 on.
    4
    This section refers to the physical aspects and details of the manufacturing of the technological product
  • User experience: 3 5 on.
    3
    This criterion is linked to the user's assessment when relating to the technical product or application.
  • Technical benefits: 4 5 on.
    4
    Description of the quality of the technical specifications of the technological solution
  • Accessibility: 4 5 on.
    4
    It is the degree to which people can use or access a product, technological solution or service, regardless of their technical, cognitive or physical abilities

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