NeuroNation is an application designed to help take care of the cognitive health of users who use it by stimulating their brain functions. For this, it has a total of 27 games that will stimulate the user in a different way.
The application has 5 main features or functions: Session, Extras, Premium, Evaluation and Profile. All of them are accessible from a small horizontal menu at the bottom of the screen.
- Session. These sessions are unlimited and you can do as many as you want during the day. Before starting each game, the user is presented with a brief description of it along with a short tutorial.
- Additional features. In this section, the application offers a total of 11 activities that help clear your mind. Some of them are: breathing exercises, to release tension in the arms, to increase concentration capacity, etc.
All these activities are described by means of a series of steps that the user has to follow, in addition to showing a small animation that complements the description.
–Premium. This section shows only the prices for purchasing the premium version.
- Assessment. In this section, 4 different bar graphs are shown, each of them is intended to show the capacity, by means of a percentage, that the user has in each of these categories (Speed, Reasoning, Attention and Memory). Every time five training sessions are carried out, the user will be told that an evaluation test must be carried out. Once finished, a new bar with its corresponding percentage will be added to each of the graphs.
- Profile. In this section the user is given the power to assign himself a name, an email and change the password. In addition to these options, from this section you can access the conditions and privacy policies and the configuration of the application, in it you can configure the needs of the exercises, the number of exercises that you want to perform, the comparison group in regarding age, language, training reminders and when you want to perform the neuroActivity.
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 3.4.62 and an iPhone 6S (IOS 13.4.1) with version 3.4.60
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, the moment it is started for the first time, the app shows an animated video with subtitles that explains in a minute briefly what NeuroNation can do for the user. After this, it is indicated that it is necessary to register with an email to start using it; you can use any email or log in with a Google or Facebook account. Once the account to be used has been selected, the app will go on to make an evaluation of the user by performing 4 of the available games to test their strengths and weaknesses and create a personalized exercise plan.
After completing these tests, another 25-second subtitled animation will be shown again advising that the more times you train, the more accurate the NeuroNation personalized training will be. Once the video is finished, the app will ask what age range is to be compared with and will proceed to the customization of the training program, for this it asks if the user has any special needs, such as vision difficulty or arithmetic deterioration, You must choose the intensity of the training and the time of day at which you want to train.
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 elderly person can exercise their brain quickly.
The application is very easy to use, it has a simple interface and really easy to identify, it consists of a menu at the bottom with five buttons that are very simple to recognize, either by their icon or their description, so that older people Those who want to use the application will have no difficulty understanding how the app works.
All of this makes it very easy for the user to start using the application, since each time the app is started the "Session" screen is displayed with a blue button that indicates that the training session can be started. . This ease of learning to use it is also transferred to the ease of remembering how to use it if at some point the application is uninstalled, since it consists of games that are easily recognizable.
Regarding its effectiveness, it must be said that the app is extremely effective since it achieves the desired objective as soon as you start the application since it forces you to carry out an evaluation that consists of performing four of the games before accessing the app completely. 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 training of the mind.
Regarding portability, NeuroNation works on any type of Smartphone or device, be it Android or iOS.
Taking into account the analysis of each of the previous criteria, it can be said that the product has a considerably good usability in terms of achieving the objective, taking into account the use that the elderly will give it.
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 it contains, all of them have a description that facilitates their understanding and, in addition, they are of a reasonable size so that they can be correctly identified.
Accessibility for people with reduced vision - The app does not have a settings section where you can change the theme, that is, change from the white background with black letters to a black background with white letters. The size of the font cannot be changed so depending on the size of the screen of the device being used it is possible that certain words, especially those that accompany the menu icons, may be difficult to read, although it is possible to increase the size of the font in the general configuration of the device, causing it 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 NeuroNation has. In all the devices in which the screen reader has been used, the buttons have been well labeled, both with Voice Assistant for Android and Voice Over for IOS.
It should be noted that for most of the games it offers it is necessary to interact or identify certain visual elements such as shapes and colors, so NeuroNation may not be accessible to blind people; however, it offers an option that disables exercises that cannot be performed by people with color vision difficulties.
Accessibility for people with hearing difficulties - People with hearing difficulties can use the application without any problem since the sounds emitted by the application are to complement the exercises and are not relevant for their development and, in addition, the presentation videos are subtitled.
In this section we will 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, it is possible to access their terms and policies from the links provided by the Google Play and App Store download stores, although it is also possible to access them from within the application through the “Profile” section.
In general and operational terms, the application works properly, no failure has occurred that has impaired its operation or the user experience. This app can greatly help people, and especially older people, stay cognitively active by training certain areas of the brain.
One of the positive points of the application is that each and every one of the 27 games and 11 activities that it offers the user are free, making subscriptions only serve to eliminate ads. This makes it an application to take into account within the field of cognitive stimulation since practically all the applications that have been found, such as Lumosity and Cognifit, allow partial access to the content of their applications if their free version is used. Another point to note is that an internet connection is not necessary to use it, so it is not necessary to be connected to a Wi-Fi network or mobile data.
One of the least positive points that the app has is the number of games it contains, with a total of 29, being one of the applications that contains the least exercises of the four that have been tested. However, as mentioned above, it is the only one that allows access to all those games.
- The presentation video is subtitled.
- All the contents of the application can be accessed.
- All of its games and activities are accessible for free.
- Provides an option to not include games that cannot be played by people who have difficulty identifying session colors.
- It is available in 8 different languages.
- It would be interesting if the premium section described the advantages that the user would have to acquire this version.
- It would be interesting if the "buy premium" message is not displayed every time the app is started.
- You could study the possibility that the pop-up window that proposes the type of ads you want to see every time the app is going to show an ad won't jump.