Author: Alberto Vidal Rodríguez
As explained above, the website on the prevention of unwanted loneliness of the Madrid City Council seeks, among other things, to connect users of different ages and profiles to carry out activities together and thus reduce the feeling of loneliness or isolation that they may experience.
Next, it will explain how this web page is structured, what content it includes and how it can be accessed.
Access to this web portal can be done by clicking on the following link:
Once we have entered the website we will be able to enjoy all the contents to which it gives access without the need to make any type of registration or enter personal data.
At the top of the page we find access to three of the main content. These are the ones at the bottom of the following image, and each of them can be accessed by clicking on the button Read more associated.
Next, we are going to briefly explain what resources each of these links allows access to:
In the first one, you can obtain information about the different centers that work to prevent unwanted loneliness. We found 4 different types of centers:
- Municipal Community Health Centers (CMSc): There are 16 community health centers in the city of Madrid, spread over the different districts of the city. These centers are specialized in health promotion and disease prevention, and through their activities they create meeting points to encourage people to bond, thus promoting health and well-being to prevent unwanted loneliness.
- Senior centers: They are centers aimed at people over 65 years of age. They promote active aging, promoting socialization and integration within the community, through cultural, occupational, educational and recreational activities.
- Youth Center: This Madrid Salud center, located at 10 Navas de Tolosa Street, specializes in adolescents and young people. She attends to situations such as the loss of significant relationships or social relationships and offers services such as sexual counseling, information about STDs or support in situations of abuse or mistreatment.
- Center for the Prevention of Cognitive Impairment: This center is located on Calle Montesa 22 and is aimed at people over 60 years of age who have memory problems or other cognitive alterations and who are not diagnosed with dementia or under treatment for this disease. In addition, it provides a telephone accompaniment service, especially for those alone or with greater vulnerability.
It should be noted that when you click the button Read More associated with each of these centers, you can access the specific content that each center offers on its website, as well as information related to activities carried out in each of them. For example, if we access the page of the Center for the Prevention of Cognitive Impairment we can find numerous memory training exercises and cognitive stimulation ordered by levels of difficulty and completely free of charge.
To be able to carry out the exercises, just click on the exercise we want to access and it will be displayed in a new window.
In the activities calendar we can access a list with all the activities that are going to be carried out and in which any user can participate, arranged in chronological order.
Within these activities we find a wide variety of proposals, from neighborhood WhatsApp groups from different neighborhoods where you can connect with people from a nearby environment, to individual tutorials to learn how to use your mobile. There are also group walks through different areas and neighborhoods or visits to museums and exhibitions also in groups. In this way the user can meet new people, expand his network of contacts and make plans of his liking while socializing with other users with similar tastes.
As can be seen in the image above, to the right of each activity you can see the date on which it will take place, the time of the activity and the place where it will take place.
Filters can be set at the top of this page to show activities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Activities can also be searched by specific date and the view of the different activities can be selected by grid view, as a list or as a schedule.
In addition, if we enter a specific activity, we can obtain additional information about it and we will be shown the days, hours and minutes that are left for this activity to take place.
The last of these three links to which reference is being made is also related to the activities that are proposed from the page of the Madrid City Council to avoid unwanted loneliness. In this case, the activities are grouped according to different categories. These are:
- Physical activity.
- Healthy habits.
- Emotional well-being.
- Sexual and reproductive health.
- Pregnancy and parenting.
- Digital access.
This is shown in the following image, in which the first three categories mentioned can be seen. Further down this page we would find the rest of the categories.
By accessing each of the categories we can find information about them and their relationship with the prevention of loneliness and leading a healthy and healthy lifestyle.
In addition, we will be explained what type of activities are associated with each of these categories. For example, if we enter the page referring to Healthy habitsIn addition to an interesting reflection on how unwanted loneliness can make us neglect our healthy habits, we can find the activities that are proposed within this category, which are:
-Healthy eating workshop.
-Healthy routes (Project WAP-People who walk).
-Huertos and health.
-Workshops to quit smoking.
-Oral health workshop.
-Accident prevention workshop for the elderly.
Returning to the home page of the unwanted loneliness website, we find the section Let's talk about loneliness. In this, we talk about the topic of what loneliness is, how different people experience it and what influence this perception of loneliness has on our well-being and our health. On the right side of the web, as can be seen in the image below, the tweets that have been published on the social network Twitter under the hashtag #soledadnodesseada are shown.
Further down, on the main page of the web, we find the section Featured activities. As its name suggests, in this section we will find 8 recommended activities that the organization recommends to users. In each one of them the population to which it is directed is indicated as well as the main objectives of said activity.
The next section we find is called What's going on?. In it you can access different news related to aspects related to the prevention of unwanted loneliness and related topics. This section includes a Audiovisual area, which includes content in video format with interviews and testimonies from different people who speak on the subject of loneliness.
The final part of the website on the prevention of unwanted loneliness of the Madrid City Council is aimed at attracting potential collaborators and volunteers who are interested in collaborating in this initiative. Therefore, to participate in all these projects, both organizations, companies or individuals, can send their data through this platform that is available on the web.
In order to analyze and evaluate the website, a series of tests have been carried out to verify its operation. The tests were carried out on the web version for the computer, as well as on two mobile devices, one with an Android operating system and the other with an iOS operating system.
In this section, different criteria have been applied to assess whether the tool can be used regardless of the capabilities of the user.
-Cognitive accessibility: In general, access to the website is simple and navigation within it is also easy, which makes it easier for it to be used by a large number of users, including those with some type of cognitive impairment.
-Accessibility for people with reduced or no vision: In general, the different texts and images within the web are large enough so that they can be read without problem. In addition, it should be remembered that you can zoom in on a computer in most search engines in a simple way by simultaneously pressing the "Control" and "+" keys to zoom in and "Control" and "-" to zoom out. Similarly, on mobile devices it is also possible to enlarge the size of the texts or zoom in with applications such as the magnifying glass. The contrast between the different texts and the background is also adequate, which makes them easier to read.
To complete this section, some tests have been carried out with the screen reader systems available on Android and iOS devices. These tests have focused on checking the correct labeling of the icons and buttons available on the web page. In the tests carried out, it has been verified that the buttons and the different screens of which it is composed are well labeled and the web can be used without any problem using these screen readers.
-Accessibility for people with hearing difficulties: The unwanted loneliness website can be used without any problem by people with reduced or no hearing ability, since it has hardly any sound content. The only part where we find content with audio is in the videos in the section Audiovisual areaHowever, these are fully subtitled, so audition is not necessary to be able to follow them.
These tests are intended to verify if the website has faults that do not allow it to perform its functions.
During the days that the unwanted loneliness website was tested, no notable or critical failure was detected in its operation.
In general, the website is very well developed, whether it is accessed through a computer or a mobile device. Its use and navigation within the web is simple, which favors that it can be used by different user profiles, including the elderly and / or people with some type of cognitive disability.
It should be noted that most of the activities that are proposed are specially designed for the group of older people. This makes sense since this is one of the groups most susceptible to suffering from this so-called unwanted loneliness. Despite this, we also find on the website activities aimed at other groups, which is a valuable point, although it would be interesting if even more activities were added aimed at groups such as young people.
As mentioned, one of the groups that can benefit the most from the activities proposed on the website to mitigate unwanted loneliness is the elderly. Therefore, it would be interesting to see if the content of the website could be transferred to another system or platform, such as a mobile or tablet application, so that it would be more accessible to the general public and to older people in particular. This is because many older people do not have a computer at home, but they do have a mobile phone or tablet with an internet connection. In addition, this group is usually better managed with the use of applications than by searching web pages in search engines such as Explorer or Chrome.
On the other hand, in order to improve accessibility for all types of users in the activities that are proposed on the web, it would be very interesting for each of them to specify whether they are achievable by people who use wheelchairs. For example, given that many of these activities are carried out in Municipal Community Health Centers (CMSc) or in Centers for the elderly, it would be good to specify if they have these accessibility elements mentioned. Similarly, for those activities consisting of visits to museums or exhibitions, it would be very appropriate to mention whether the facilities are adapted for people who use a wheelchair.
Also, it would be good if in the section Featured activities The date and time in which the activity takes place will also be shown on the main page, so that you do not have to access each of them to know when they are going to take place. In addition, it might be interesting that only those activities that have not yet taken place are shown, since currently many of the highlighted activities that are shown have already ended and it is not possible to carry them out.
In general terms, the user experience when testing the website has been quite satisfactory and it is estimated that its use and participation in the different activities that are proposed from it can be very useful to mitigate the unwanted loneliness of many users. especially older people.
Finally, it should be noted that this Review has tried to make a brief but complete explanation of the different parts that make up the website of Unwanted loneliness. However, as this website is very complete and with enough content available, it is best for the user himself to explore it and discover what content and activities may be of interest to him.
- Thanks to this initiative, many users can access a wide catalog of free activities that help them socialize with other people and thus reduce the feeling of unwanted loneliness.
- The website is simple and easy to use, but at the same time very complete and with varied content available.
- The possibility of exporting the contents of the website to an application for mobile phones or tablets could be studied in order to facilitate its accessibility for certain users.
- It would be interesting for the website to specify whether the different activities take place in spaces adapted for people with reduced mobility or who use a wheelchair.