What’s the problem?
Women need to be and feel safer when walking alone. In a 225-person study done by Stop Street Harassment, 99% of women said they have been harassed on the street and 65% said it’s a monthly occurrence.
Tools: Post-its + Google Slides
Tools: Post-Its, Sketch
We utilized a five step framework to help scope our project, outline our tasks and create efficiencies.
Tools: Post-Its + Sketch
We identified 13 competitors to audit to see what they are doing that is best-in-class. While they have all implemented interesting features, the majority also have complicated navigations.
Tools: Google Forms, Social Media, Personalized Emails
Our goal was to understand the many emotions that a woman goes through while walking alone and how her behaviors respond to those feelings.
The Gender Gap
We observed that men and women have different perceptions of danger. A woman has most likely been harassed on the street so there is an innate fear based on those experiences and also from hearing horror stories of what could potentially happen.
Tools: Post-Its + Sketch
Tools: Post-Its, Sharpies + Cupcakes
We conducted a user journey with potential users to identify their feelings and pain points about walking from point a to point b. Once we understood those feelings we were able to all brainstorm ideas on how to solve those problems. Some of those solutions were then implemented into our app in the form of features.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Session
Tools: Google Spreadsheet
Taking a nod from Jamie Levy and Lean UX, we used efficiencies where necessary like digitizing the below user journey and MVP findings via a Google Spreadsheet. We took potential features and dissected how they would ladder up to our Key Performance Indicators (KPI). From there we did ruthless prioritization based on the value of the feature versus the level of effort to implement it.
Tools: Post-its, Sharpies, Whiteboard, Dry Erase Markers
Similar to the user journey, we used sticky notes for our sitemap and user flows since there were many changes to the foundations of the app as we moved through the different phases of our framework.
Tools: Paper, Markers, Stickers + Post-Its
The main struggle we has was deciding whether to place priority over features for women who are in no immediate danger but don’t feel safe, which will make up the majority of users, or those who run into suspicious activity, which our survey results showed is much less common.
The thumb zone, or the area that is most comfortable for you to tap, is very important in our app. If someone is held at gunpoint or struggling during a physical assault, they can intuitively navigate the app since all of the main features lie in this area.
We did an impromptu test with left and right-handers to determine the best placement for the Call 911 button. The findings were split so we placed the button in the bottom center and more than tripled the tappable area of a normal button for easy access.
Tools: Whiteboard + Dry Erase Markers
We tested with both men and women and the male testers were confused at what the difference was between the anxious button and suspicious activity. We didn’t want to cause confusion but needed to advocate for our female users who immediately feel anxious so we went to the whiteboard and sketched ideas until we were able to combine the two sections into one.
Below are our wireframes with justifications of our design decisions. Roll over an image to reveal our reasoning and click on a wireframe to view a larger version.
Tools: Paper, Sharpies, Sketch, Invision + Principle
One of our main goals for the design of the app, and mainly the quick access feature, was to make it so intuitive that you don’t need to look at the screen to access the features. We came up with two viable options for approaching the quick access feature and decided to A/B test with potential users to see what interaction was preferred.
After testing with 10 potential users, we decided to move forward with option A. While users did think that option B was visually appealing, the majority of testers said that option A would “leave less room for error” if they were in a state of emergency."
Although I was not the UI Designer for this project, we did discuss using red for the panic button as another signifier for users if they aren’t capable of reading in an emergency. We coupled this with a calming blue to try to alleviate the stress of the user.
Tools: Google Doc, Sketch, Post-Its + Sharpies
We defined a test plan based on Nielsen Norman Groups usability test best practices.
Tools: Paper, Sharpies, Sketch, InVision
We worked closely with developers so we could fully understand the feasibility of the features we wanted to implement.
It’s easy to say that we want to build a widget to set ourselves apart from competitors, but it’s another thing to understand if this feature is feasible. We worked with two developers to understand the possibility of making this app come to life. This is what we discovered:
iOS App + Widget
Widget is possible but it’s a heavy and complicated lift to develop.
In order to make widget work the native app would need to be open.
An alternative option to the widget on iOS would be adding the app to the Siri App Suggestions section.
Android App + Widget
Widget is much more feasible than on iOS. Developer would consider it it a medium level of effort.
Before this app can be developed, we will need to fine tune the interactions.
There are several features that we would like to explore in the future, like building an API for safe and dangerous locations based on user feedback. We also want to explore additional ways to signal to the app that you’re in an emergency, including violently shaking your phone to activate the Call 911 flow, a silent mode in case you’re in a situation where you need to be silent but can still call for help, facial recognition and voice activations.
Overall, our UX process has shown that there is a need for this product and for it to be incredibly user-friendly.