IU Safe

Design and prototyping of a mobile application to help students in an emergency situation. Work undertaken while studying at Indiana University.

Sandeep Jagtap
Oct 8, 2017 · Unlisted
Image for post
Image for post

IU Safe is a mobile application designed to help students in the emergency situations like critical health issues, personal safety, theft etc. in and around the Indiana University campus. It act as a communication bridge among students and campus security officers. Also, it educates students about safety resources available on the campus. The application offers easy and simple interface considering the possibility of a user under a stressful situation.

User Research & Interaction Design

Sandeep (UX Designer)| Pruthviraj(UX Designer)| Carlos ( Visual Designer) | Hailey ( Visual Designer)

Sep’16 — Oct’16 | 3 Weeks


Goal

To design a preventive and reactive solution in order to make campus feel safer in emergency situations (i.e. late night, bad weather, health related issues etc.) for students on campus.


Process

Image for post
Image for post
Design Process

Artifacts and Findings

Image for post
Image for post
1. Emergency Call Booth
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
2.Internal Setup of Campus Police Car 3.Internal Setup of Control Center

Conducting observation study for safety issue was not an easy task. We did our best to observe the environments and venues around campus that make calls to safety concerns for our interviewees and personas. We spent time around campus (classroom buildings, centers and residence halls) both during the daytime and at night to see if anything could be gleaned from such observation. We interview college students and IUPUI police officers.

Students

  • Students feel safer when they see campus police around
  • The smartphone is an important channel of communication.
  • Students feel comfortable talking to the fellow students when involved in a hostile situation.
  • Students are unaware of on-campus safety resources like emergency call box and safety ride service.

Campus Police Officers

  • Campus police have dispatch center and police cars are equipped with the laptop, mobiles, and cameras.
  • Patrolling officer relies on the Dispatch unit for the information like location and severity of the situation.
  • Dispatch unit can’t locate caller unless caller informs explicitly

Problem Space Exploration

Image for post
Image for post
Exploring Problem Space

Competitive Analysis

  • There are number of safety app but none of them is tailored to take advantage of local infrastructure
  • Apart from sending the location or help message these applications do not offer any other features.
  • The majority of applications were reactive in nature instead of proactive.
  • The applications we reviewed had an overly complex user interface.

User Archetypes

Image for post
Image for post
Student Persona
Image for post
Image for post
IU Patrol Officer Persona

Ideation

Image for post
Image for post
Crazy Idea Compilation
  • A location sharing and tracking mobile application
  • A safety information and resource awareness application
  • A wearable device which could monitor heart rate and send SOS signal to friends and family in case of emergency.

Storyboarding solutions

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Storyboard Location Tracking App
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Storyboard Wearable Solution

Problem Synthesis

After analyzing the the research insights, we settled on the minimum viable product (MVP) which would satisfy following requirements.

1Proactive: The design solution should proactively inform the user about safety procedures, and alerts regarding possible hostile situations to boost safety awareness on campus.

2Integrated: The design solution should promote and seamlessly integrate existing infrastructures and service like emergency call and safety ride service respectively.

3Reactive: The design solution should act as a communication bridge between students and security personnel. It should empower the student to quickly share location with friends, security personnel in case of emergency.


Design Solution

The final solution is an amalgamation of the first (A location sharing and tracking app ) and second idea ( A Safety Information/Resource App), in favor of feasibility and opportunity to use existing resources on the campus. The wearable device solution was eliminated due to the cost involved on the user side, which could result in lower user adaptation.

Image for post
Image for post
Workflow of Envisioned Solution
Image for post
Image for post
Low Fidelity Prototype with Balsamiq

The low fidelity prototype was subjected to user testing and cognitive walk-through. We found that meaningful icons and labeling was required to make the application more intuitive. Also, notifications of safety ride time and location sharing was important. Additionally, user’s input on friends location backed design decision of having the location of friends on map

Image for post
Image for post

The prototype evolved after each iteration improving user experience, interaction, and visual design.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

After testing the prototype with students, we realized that our solution very close to solving safety issue on the campus. The simplified user interface with easy to access feature like location sharing, SOS alert, and safety ride service received positive feedback during user testing. In future, this application can be integrated with heart rate monitor sensor, voice commands or a hardware key to activate the SOS alert.


Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed reading the case study as much as I enjoyed putting it together. I would love to hear feedback and comments.

I am looking for a full-time designer role. If you are looking to hire one, I would love connect with you.

Let’s be friends. Connect me on LinkedIn and Twitter. Check out my portfolio at www.sandeepjagtap.com for more case studies.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store