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Help Launcher

Image of the main screen of the Help Launcher application.
Overall rating:
  • 4/5
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  • Image of the main screen of the Help Launcher application
  • Image of the messaging menu of the Help Launcher application where applications such as WhatsApp, Telegram, among others, are displayed.
  • Image of Help Launcher application settings menu
  • Image of the screen settings menu of the Help Launcher application where you can choose the brightness intensity and configure the idle time for the screen suspension
  • Image of the sound settings menu of the Help Launcher application where you can select one of the six sound modes
  • Image of Help Launcher dial pad

What does it consist of:

Today there are countless useful, fun and interesting applications and we always want to have them all within the reach of a click, but there are certain apps and device functionalities that are more essential than others and it can be tedious to find them. And this is where Help Launcher comes into its own.

Help Launcher is a mobile application designed to facilitate the use of smartphones by both the elderly and the visually impaired, providing a pleasant user experience given that it has a friendly interface with simple menus, striking colors, buttons and size of proper letter.

Forms of Acquisition:

We can download the application for free from the Android Play Store. In case you want to contact the Help Launcher developers, we can do so through the following email: developers@primux.es.

Download the Android version at the following link:

Technical verification:

Author Ruth Leonardo Paredes

Date: October 2021

This application offers the possibility of replacing the home screen to simplify access to the most essential menus of the device, obtaining a more intuitive interface.

In this review We will do an analysis of the app for Android devices, using Android version 8.0 and 11.0 in the analysis.

Interaction

Next, we proceed with the detailed analysis of Help Launcher.

When we open the application for the first time, windows appear for the initial configuration of Help Launcher, where we will have to grant certain access permissions and configure the language of the application.

Subsequently, it is possible to view the home screen that has six large, colorful and intuitive icons of the functionalities that have been considered most essential.

Image of Help Launcher main screen

1. Green icon: This icon allows us access to the last calls, contacts and dialing. 

Call menu image

The "CONTACTS" button will open our contact list and a search engine at the top. Selecting one of the contacts will open a new menu that allows you to call, send a message or view more contact information.

Image of contact list      Image button call, message and view contact

From the "Dial" button we will access a numeric keyboard having the option of calling the dialed number by pressing the green button or saving said number by pressing the blue button. These buttons are large and colorful, which helps us make them easier to use. 

Dial keypad image

2. Orange icon: By selecting this icon we will be able to access the messages, the email account and 3 messaging or social network applications installed on the device. Each of these buttons will have the representative color of the application.

Image of the messaging menu, options such as WhatsApp, Telegram, among others are shown

This icon is common to all messaging applications, being intuitive to access messages pending to be read and that it flashes when a message arrives in any of these applications.

3. Pink icon: Selecting this icon will open the gallery.

4. Blue icon: Selecting this icon will open the device's camera.

5. Gray icon:  After selecting this icon, another menu appears through which we can access the configuration of the Wi-Fi connection, alarm settings, an applications menu, contacts and a settings menu.

Settings menu image

If we select the "Applications" option, a new menu appears, the first button of which allows you to access a new window where all applications installed on the device will be displayed, the remaining four buttons will represent access to your last four applications used.

Applications menu image

We must not confuse the "Contacts" button on this menu with the green icon menu button, as this button, unlike the other, allows you to add a contact and modify or delete the selected contact.

Image of the menu that allows you to add contact.

The "Settings" button shows the following menu:

Image of the settings menu where you can access the settings for the SOS button, display, audio and system settings

  • The "SOS Settings" button will allow you to add a maximum of 4 emergency contacts that will be accessible from the red "SOS" icon on the main menu.
  • The "Screen / Audio" button takes you to another menu where you can make screen, audio and language settings for the app.

Image of the display settings, audio and language settings menu

In "Screen settings" you can select one of the 4 brightness modes and choose the time you want to pass to suspend the screen.

Image of the menu where you can select the intensity of brightness and suspension of the screen

In "Audio settings" we can also choose the mode depending on what you want: vibration mode, silence and 4 other options with different sound intensities.

Picture of the menu where you can select the sound mode

Finally, in "Languages" we can choose one of the seven available languages ​​of the application.

6. Red icon: By selecting this option we will be able to choose the contact to whom we want to call.

We have made a test call to the “Emergency 1” contact, which is a trusted contact number. The contact number was automatically dialed and the call was successful.

We also ran a test with the medical emergency number “061” and the call was successful.

However, when testing with the emergency service number 112, you had to press the call button to make the call.

Image of emergency contacts

Button features

  • The buttons of the interface are activated by pressing a single time on the desired button, whether the icon, text, or any other area of ​​the button is clicked.

Image of possible clickable areas of the button

  • In case of wanting to go back or return to the initial screen, we must use the physical navigation buttons of the device in case of having one or the system navigation buttons.

Image of android navigation buttons

  • Having the "SOS" button on the main menu really gives this app a fresh touch compared to others. launchers. This quick access can help us in emergency situations to contact emergency services or contacts that you have chosen as a priority.

Particularities regarding the customization of the interface

It is true that Help Launcher does not allow customization, you cannot change the background, font size or color, etc. But all this has a reason and let's remember that Help Launcher was designed exclusively to adapt to older people.

One of the Help Launcher developers said: "Associating colors with functions helps improve accessibility and separate content.", "Colors form a visual pattern (for example, to get to markup)".

Affordability

Help Launcher's target audience is elderly and visually impaired, and this application undoubtedly covers some of the needs of these groups.

However, it is possible to get more out of it and improve the user experience and accessibility by complementing the use of this application with screen readers, high-contrast keyboard or voice control applications.

For this reason, we have carried out tests complementing this app with TalkBack so that accessibility is possible to more groups such as people with reduced vision or blind.

Unfortunately we verify that the main menu buttons have no description or labels to be able to be read by said screen reader. However, the rest of the buttons and menus were read successfully by TalkBack.

In addition, we have carried out tests with a voice control app called Voice Access and we can access the buttons without description through labels assigned by the aforementioned app, to the buttons, thus solving this problem detected with TalkBack. With the rest of the buttons, it is not necessary to activate the numerical labels, we simply have to say certain commands such as: "Click on Alarms", "Back", "Go to Home screen".

This combination is really nice and useful since you can visualize a simple interface thanks to Help Launcher and more accessible due to Voice Access.

Conclusions

After having tested the application, we can clearly ensure that it meets its objective and that it is beneficial for the elderly or those with vision problems thanks to its simple interface, simplifying the menus to access the functions with fewer clicks, including colorful buttons with Intuitive and large icons as well as the type of font used that contrasts perfectly with the background.

In conclusion, this app will help us to be able to access the functionalities of the mobile device in a very simple way, making it possible to use it for any user who wants a simplified interface.

Highlights

  • Design: the dedication of the developers in getting a launcher with a practical and intuitive interface that is beneficial to users is appreciated.
  • SOS button: The incorporation of this button in the main menu is appreciated since it can be extremely important in emergency situations.

Improvement points

  • Compatibility: After testing the operation of this app on two Android devices of different versions, we verified that compatibility problems may arise with some versions of the operating system.
  • Accessibility: It does not have enough of its own accessibility settings to guarantee that the launcher adapts to the needs of different groups of people.

 

 

 

  • 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: 4 5 on.
    4
    This criterion is linked to the user's assessment when relating to the technical product or application.
  • Technical benefits: 3 5 on.
    3
    Description of the quality of the technical specifications of the technological solution
  • Accessibility: 3 5 on.
    3
    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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