Design whatsapp like service for blind people.
+2 votes
in Product Design by (23 points) | 1.3k views

2 Answers

+2 votes

I would like to clarify following questions:

What does Whatsapp like literally mean? Whatsapp has chatting provision, audio calling, video calling.

Also I would like to understand what level of blindness do we mean by "blind". Some people might be just 50% blind and can see and view stuff (though it would be hazy). Also, I would like to understand if this app would be for the people who have recently become blind in their lifetime or are blind since birth (because such people would not even know about our conventional whatsapp).

Assuming, this app is for 100% fully blind people and we need to build a connecting/chatting mobile app for them. I am not considering web client.

My approach would be the following:


  • Invoking the app
  • Audio messaging
  • Audio calling
  • Closing the app
  • Recieving the audio message
  • Recieving the audio call
  • Reviewing previous messages
  • Changing the profile icon
  • Sharing location information
  • sharing documentation
It is to be noted that while creating this app, there would a modification in the mobile hardware also.
The proposed solution for above use cases can be as follows:
  1. There will be 3 hardware buttons on the mobile phone that would dedicated to this app. Once button would be used for invoking the app.
  2. Once the app is invoked, there will be peculiar sound signaling the invoking of the app. This button would be used to close the app too
  3. The other button would used to initiate a audio message. The contact can be selected from the saved contacts. After pressing the button, the blind person can speak the contact's name and the audio message can start being recorded.
  4. The other button would be used to call the person from within contact list
  5. There will be text to speech functionality integrated in the app. If the contact tries to reach out to the blind person through text, that text will be converted to audio every time for the blind person. Hence, the reception of the messages would always be through audio
  6. Alternatively, I would suggest integration of voice assistants like Google and Alexa with this app. The blind person can ask assistnt to share his location to one of the contacts. Also, the assistant can read out or play the previous messages from the audio respository (particular date, particular contact).
 Aleax or google assistant integration involves buy in from Amazon and Google and is effort from both the ends. This feature would consume amount of time. We would also have to partner or collaborate with an mobile OEM to work closely with mobile OS APIs that would be integrated the app. Alternatively, if we integrate with any of the assistants, the assistant can itself invoke, initiate, close the calls and app. That would be a one time effort. Hence, I would initially try for integration with one of the assistants and get a buy in from the Google and Amazon. 
by (39 points)
Good answer. I would also include a couple out of the box ideas such as "enable blind person to send audio message to a friend to confirm correctness of conversion of message from audio to text". Also, don't forget to evaluate and prioritize your use cases and features as described in the "How to Answer a Product Design question" article in this site.
good answer.

A. I would suggest stressing more on use-case of the messaging service

1. individual to individual - your above answer works well for this one

2. invidual to group chat - the above missing this use-case.

B. Think about an app which would be used by a blind person but could also be friendly with other people around.

C. Provide multiple solution and prioritize based on impact to business, cost and impact to user. Based on that, choose one answer and provide metrics to measure it.
0 votes
Solution 1:  Text to voice conversion:

Step 1: Person can select the chat or call option. As chat is first and call is last tab.

Step 2: On scrolling down, phone will speak the names and person can stop scrolling on listening the name he wants to communicate.

Step 3: Use record the sound feature and send the message. Receive the message and listen it using "text to voice conversion" or simply ask the other user to send audio chat.

Solution 2: Similar to the IVRS system.

Step 1: Speak 1 for call, 2 for chat.

Step 2: Say "stop" (Or any similar word) on the first character of the name you want to communicate. Then app will sound the name from that char. Say  "stop" on the name you want to communicate.

Step 3: Send the message using "record audio" feature.
by (44 points)
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