Making big icons for people with poor vision
Organisation URL: biglauncher.com/
Czech-designed BIG Launcher makes it easy for visually impaired people to use Android smartphones for the first time.
Users simply install the software on any smartphone device to get a simple home-screen with just six large icons to access the phone, messages, camera, gallery, an SOS button, and an app drawer. This last option is in the form of a list in huge text size with big, colourful icons, so older people and those with eye diseases or motor problems can navigate their smartphone with confidence and ease.
30,000 people have already downloaded the $10 version and there have been 500,000downloads of the free version. Czech founder and designer Jan Husak developed the launcher when his mother broke her old phone and he started shopping around for a replacement. Together with co-founder Daniel Kunes, they quickly ascertained that older people were put off by the interface and inaccessibility of smartphones, but would be ardent users if they had a simpler way into the services they provide.
‘Big Launcher can enrich [older people’s] lives,’ Jan says. ‘Once they start using it, they call it a life companion.’ He drew inspiration from old cellphones like Nokias that had simple interfaces and linear menus: ‘Linear systems mean that users can’t get lost, because they can always take one step back,’ he explains.
The founders are pushing for manufacturers to preinstall the launcher on their smartphones, instead of developing their own proprietary software. This will overcome the need for users to install the app, require a Google account and have a linked credit card, which is currently cumbersome.
The company is self-sustaining but keen for investment that would help them scale.
Image courtesy of Big Launcher
Last updated: 19th of September, 2014