Interactive NeuroRehabillitation

UX Design  I  Ui Design


My senior year of school I participated in an independent study led by professor Aisling Kelliher and Thanassis Rikakis, vice provost of design, arts, and technology at Carnegie Mellon University. The project involved developing an in-home rehabilitation system for post stroke patients. 

I was responsible for designing the tablet interface and experience for both the stroke patient and therapist.

Design Challenges I faced included learning to design for accessibility needs, learning to collaborate and work on a team with developers, creating experience flows that were dependent on technology constraints.





When an individual begins stroke rehabilitation in a facility, their insurance company will only offer coverage for a specified period of time. Once the patient exceeds their time-window, most do not pursue any further therapy due to cost and inconvenience. This INR system is designed to provide a low-budget way of performing independent, daily therapy in their home.

The project prototype I worked with utilized a camera/tripod, matt, collection of objects, and tablet to create a wireless, cordless physical therapy experience. 

The camera and software are able to track the quality of the patient's movements. We provide them with a series of exercises to perform with the lightweight objects of different sizes. The tablet and software will then five the patient feedback on their performance and direction on the next task to perform


My Role: Designing for the tablet


My main responsibility in this project was to create a seamless experience for the patient on a small touch-screen tablet. There were many design constraints due to numerous, possible disabilities. Most are listed below...

  • Usable with only one hand, left hand only
  • Large type and imagery for potential vision impairments
  • Compatible with motion-tracking system and software
  • Encouraging language and metaphor for progress




UI Explorations and Accessability


Explorations in showing task count and button position

Explorations in showing task count and button position

Button placement and size took up a huge part of the design process. I needed to make sure they were positioned in the most convenient location, were a large enough tap-target for impaired users, and clearly communicated their intent. 

Representation of progress was another focus. We concluded counting down the number of tasks completed was a better method than counting up to the number of repetitions that needed to be completed. I also chose to use a progress circle so patients could see how close they were to completion of a certain number or reps. 



Feedback and Score


I used the circle graph to not only represent progress through a series of repetitions, but also as a way of providing evaluation of the patient's quality of motion. Each color is representative of a numerical score which is not shown to the patient. The language and color that corresponds to that score are all different levels of positive reinforcement. These color rings are then used to inform the therapist of progress.


Gamification & Visual Metaphor

We created a metaphor for the patients to represent their overall and task-by-task progress. Instead of giving numerical scores, patients responded better towards levels of encouragement. For the final version, we chose to use a garden metaphor to symbolize improvement. Each session would generate a flower representing a specific score. The more they practiced, the more flowers that would appear in their garden. Encouraging positive feedback was key for engagement and motivation.





I directed and recorded videos to demonstrate each exercise. These needed to be quick and understandable without audio. Every time a new task would be presented on the tablet, a video would play. These videos also are part of the help section if the patient forgets the task. 




Final Screens

Setup Flow

The setup flow must occur before any exercises can be performed. It is very important to complete the setup correctly so the camera can calibrate and track the patient's motions. 

Exercise Task Flow

Each exercise is presented with a name and video. Each time the patient completes one repetition of the task they must mark the beginning and end of the task so the camera/software can evaluate it. They are then presented with feedback and a visual representation of how far they are in completing that series of repetitions. 

Caregiver and Therapist Interface

The caregiver and therapist can access videos of the sessions, leave feedback and notes, and customize the difficulty of focus of the sessions. They access their accounts through the sign in page.