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Organisation: motasdesign
Name: Sol Kawage
E-Mail: sol@motasdesign.com
Category: Didactics

Name of Project: Denksportweg

Description of Project: The Katholisches Bildungswerk Tirol is a certified education institution and educational platform for senior citizens. In order to motivate its clients to keep active both physically and mentally, and to improve their autonomy and well-being, they hired us to develop an exercise trail with instructions for a series of physical and mental activities. The instructions need to be clear, age-appropriate, cost-effective, and allow the exercises to be performed without a trainer as usual. In addition, the design must appeal to older people, even those who do not see themselves as old, and take into account the fact that people might respond to different incentives to carry out such exercises. We designed a 10-station exercise trail – The Denksportweg – that can be produced locally with readily-available materials, by communities or associations with limited budgets. It is durable and easy to install. Together with our client we conducted surveys among their members in order to develop the exercises and clarify the information required in the instructions. We combined simple texts with illustrations of both male and female figures of undetermined age in order to maximise understandability and inclusivity. We paid special attention to the clothing and hair styles in the figures, so that the users can perceive themselves positively in the illustrations, and we tested our designs throughout the process. Of particular significance is the way we dealt with the problem posed by the inverted laterality of a frontal figure in relation to the viewer. When the instructions show a figure moving the left arm, we noticed that participants automatically mirror the figure and move their right arm, so we adapted the textual instructions to reflect this. Sometimes, we avoided this ambiguity in the text by simply mentioning “one side” and “the other side”, instead of left or right. This significantly reduced the cognitive load for the users. The directions were thoroughly tested and found to be clearly understood by people in different age groups. Participants found the design of the instructions motivating and made them keen to carry out the exercises. Since each exercise includes variations in difficulty and intensity, they can remain interesting and afford repeated use, as well as engage groups with members of varying ability levels, enhancing the sense of community.

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