Hombro Amigo is an application used to meet people, make friends or tell the problems that one has anonymously so that others can give advice through messages called "Outlets".
The application has three different menus:
- A lower one that contains the Home, Followed and Chat sections.
- A top one that contains the selection of Categories, Notifications, a search engine and the drop-down menu.
- Start. This is the section that is displayed when the application is launched and shows a list of messages that have been published by users who want to start a conversation. By default, messages from all categories appear, but it is possible to filter the messages so that those from the desired categories appear.
– Followed. This section stores the "Desahogos" that are being followed, that is, the thread of responses to one of the messages that a user has published.
– Chat. This section will show a list with the conversations that are being held with the different users of the application, as if it were any instant messaging app.
– Categories. In this section, as previously stated, there are a total of 12 categories that help filter the messages that appear at the start. The most interesting categories for older people can be Friendship, Advice and Family.
– Notifications. This section will show the notifications and notices of new messages that are in the "Desahogos" that are being followed.
In order to analyze and evaluate the application, a series of tests have been carried out to verify its operation. The tests have been carried out on a Samsung Galaxy J7 (Android 9 Pie) device with version 1.11.0 and an iPhone 6S (IOS 13.4.1) with version 1.11.0
In order to use the application on both devices, it has been necessary to install it through the respective application stores of each operating system.
Once the application is installed, when you start it, the home screen is displayed and from that moment on you can access all the contents of the application without having to log into it. Although it is not mandatory to register to use the application, it is interesting to link an email account in case you have changed your device and you want to continue having the conversations that had been started or keep the threads of the outlets that were being followed.
Here are two infographics that can be helpful in learning how to start or continue conversations.
This section will measure the ease with which the user can use the application to achieve a specific goal, in this case it is that an older person can meet people and make new friends.
The application is easy to use, although it has an interface with too many menus, with a total of 3. You could try to reduce the number of menus to two to simplify the interface a bit more. It is possible that older people who want to use the application have some difficulties at the beginning when it comes to locating where all the functionalities that the app presents are located.
The application is very easy to use and to learn how to use it, so you will quickly get used to how it works. The ease of use is based above all on learning how to publish a "Release" so that users can answer or reply to one. of those "Outlets". This ease of learning to use it is also transferred to the ease of remembering how to use it if the application is uninstalled at some point, since the simplicity of the interface makes it very easy to remember what it does and offers each functionality.
Regarding its effectiveness, it must be said that the app is highly effective since, it is only necessary to publish a "relief" or answer one so that other users can get in touch. In addition, taking into account that, as previously said, it does not require a great effort to learn to use it, it can be said that the product has a high efficiency in terms of achieving socialization with other people.
Regarding portability, Hombro Amigo works on any type of Smartphone, whether Android or iOS.
Taking into account the analysis of each of the previous criteria, it can be said that the product has an extremely good usability in terms of achieving the objective, taking into account the use that the elderly will give it, which is mainly knowing new people to talk to and share concerns with.
In this section, different criteria will be applied to assess whether the application can be used regardless of the capabilities of the user.
Cognitive accessibility - Regarding the images and icons, all of them have a description that facilitates their understanding, even the list of sections found in the drop-down menu has its icon that corresponds to each of the sections. In addition, they are of a reasonable size so that they can be correctly identified. It should be noted that the description is the same size as the button icon.
Accessibility for people with reduced vision - The app does not have a settings section as such, the closest thing you can find to it is the drop-down menu in the upper left, where you can change the theme from light to dark, that is, change from a white background and black letters to a black background and white letters. The size of the letter cannot be changed so depending on the size of the screen of the device being used, it is possible that the words may be difficult to read, although it is possible to increase the size of the font in the settings. general of the device, causing that in turn to increase in the app. To complete this accessibility section, it has been decided to carry out some tests with the screen reader systems that Android and IOS devices have. These tests have focused on checking the correct labeling of the icons and buttons that Hombro Amigo has. In all the devices in which the screen reader has been used, the buttons have been well labeled, with the exception of the button that allows publishing a new "Relief" that is identified by a green circular shape with a "+" sign. This happens with both Android Talkback and IOS Voice Over.
Accessibility for people with hearing difficulties - People who have hearing difficulties can use the application without any problem since the application does not contain any type of sound, except for the sounds that may be emitted by the alerts that are displayed on the panel phone notifications.
In this section we are going to study if the application works correctly and does not have critical faults that affect the functions of the app.
In the days that the application has been tested, it has not presented any notable or critical failure in its operation.
Privacy & Security
Regarding privacy and security, the application does not provide these documents anywhere. In order to read the privacy policies and conditions, it is necessary to access the corresponding download stores (Google Play or App Store).
In general terms, the application works correctly, no critical failure has been detected that has impaired its operation. Regarding the use that this app is going to give it, it can be said that it contributes in a splendid way to mitigate the state of loneliness suffered by many elderly people by providing them with the necessary means to meet new people, even anonymously, to be able to talk to them.
The main positive point of the app is that, as it is a social network to which you have to connect anonymously, it is not necessary to log in with any email, although, as mentioned above, it is possible to add one if is wanted. Another of the positive points it has is the ease with which you can start conversations on any topic, since just by posting a message on the global board that it provides, there is already a possibility that someone can respond and start talking with that person.
Finally, it should be noted that in order to use this application, an internet connection is necessary, either through a connection via WiFi or via mobile data.
- It helps in an excellent way to mitigate the effect of loneliness among older people.
- Help older people meet new people with the same tastes.
- It is not strictly necessary to log in to use the app.
- You could study the possibility of changing some sections of the site to reduce the number of menus that the app contains.
- The possibility of changing the drop-down menu icon to a gear icon could be studied, which is always related to the application settings.