NeuroNation is an application intended to help take care of the cognitive health of users who use it by stimulating their brain functions. To do this, it has a total of 27 games that will stimulaten in a different way to the user.
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 being able to perform all the ones you want during the day. Before starting each game, a brief description of this is presented to the user along with a small tutorial.
- Extras. In this section the application offers a total of 11 activities that help clear the mind. Some of them are breathing exercises, to release tension in the arms, to increase the ability to concentrate, etc.
All these activities are described by a series of steps that the user must follow, in addition to showing a small animation that complements the description.
- Premium. En este apartado se muestran únicamente los precios que supone adquirir la versión premium.
- Evaluation. In this section are shown 4 squareábars,each of which 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). Each time five training sessions are performed, the user will be told to take an evaluation test, once finished a new bar with its corresponding percentage will be added to each of the graphs.
- Profile. This section provides the user with the user to be able to assign 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 terms of age, language, training reminders and when you want to perform neuro Activity.
In order to analyze and be able to carry out an evaluation of the application, a series of tests have been carried out to verify its operation. Testing was conducted on a Samsung Galaxy J7 device (Android 9 Pie) with version 3.4.62 and an iPhone 6S (IOS 13.4.1) with version 3.4.60
To be able 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 first launched, the app shows an animated video with subtitles that briefly explains what NeuroNation can do for the user. After that, it is stated that you need to register with an email in order to start using it; you can use any email or sign in with a Google or Facebookaccount. Once you have selected the account to be used the app will go on to make a user evaluation by performing 4 of the available games to test your strengths and weaknesses and create a personalized exercise plan.
After finishing these tests another 25-second subtitled animation will be displayed advising that the more times you train, the more accurate the custom neuroNation training will be. Once the video is finished the app aská what age range you want to be compared with and you will move on to the customization of the training program, for this you wonder if the user has any special need,, such as difficulty in vision or arithmetic deterioration, you must choose the intensity of the training and the time of day at which you want to train.
In this section we will measure the ease with which the user can use the application to achieve a specific goal, in this case is that an older person can exercise his brain quickly.
The application is very easy to use, has a simple interface and really easy to identify,it consists of a menu at the bottom with five buttons very simple to recognize, either by its icon or its description, so the older people who want to use the app will have no difficulty understanding how the app works.
All this makes it very hard for the user to start using the app, because every time the app starts the app the "Session" screen is displayed with a blue button indicating that you can start the training session. This ease in learning usage also translates to the ease of remembering how it is used if you ever get to uninstall the application as it consists of games that are easily recognizable.
As for its effectiveness, it must be said that the app is extremely effective because, it manages to reach the desired objective as soon as you start the application as it forces you to perform an evaluation that consists of making four of the games before accessing the app completely. Further, considering that, as mentioned above, it does not require a great effort to learn how to use it it can be said that the product has a high efficiency in terms of achieving mind training.
With regard to portability, NeuroNation works on any type of Smartphone or device, whether Android or iOS.
Taking into account the analysis of each of the above 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 – As for the images and icons it contains, they all have a description that makes it easier to understand and, in addition, have 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, i.e. change from the white background with black letters to black background with white letters. The font size cannot be changed so depending on the dimensions of the screen that the device being used has 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 font size in the overall settings of the device, causing it to increase in the app in turn. To complete this accessibility section it has been decided to do some tests with the screen reader systems available from Android and IOS devices. These tests have focused on checking the correct labeling of the icons and buttons available to NeuroNation. Buttons have been labeled well on all devices where the screen reader has been used, both with Android Voice Assitant and IOS Voice Over.
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 who have some difficulty in visualizing colors.
Accessibility for people with hearing impairments – People with hearing difficulties can use the app without any problem as the sounds the app emits are to complement the exercises and are not relevant to its development and, in addition, the presentation videos are subtitled.
In this section we will study whether the application has a correct functioning and has no critical failures harm the functions of the app.
In the days that the application has been tested has not presented any outstanding or critical malfunctions in its operation.
Privacy and security
In terms of privacy and security it is possible to access its 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 terms and operating, the application works properly, there has been no failure that has impaired its operation or the user experience. This app can greatly contribute to people, especially older people, staying cognitively active by training certain areas of the brain.
One of the positive points that the app has is that each and every one of the 27 games and 11 activities it offers the user are free, making subscriptions only serve to remove the ads. This makes it a very noteable application within the scope of cognitive stimulation since virtually all the applications that have been found, such as Lumosity and Cognifit, allow partially access to the content of your applications if you use its free version. Another point to beoverlooked is that you don't need an internet connection to be able to use it, so you don't need to be connected to a Wifi 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 these application that less exercise contains 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 its games and activities are accessible free of charge.
- Provides an option not to include games that cannot be made 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 purchase that version.
- It would be interesting if the "buy premium" message was not displayed every time the app is
- You might want to consider not skipping the pop-up that proposes the type of ads you want to see each time the app is going to show an ad.