GARDA — Emergency App for Deaf

What is the problem we need to tackle?

Oct 13, 2020 · 5 min read

Based on our investigation, the main problem faced by Deaf Community is communication:

“Between the Deaf and Hearing people have difficulties when interacting with each other, including in an emergency situation”.

Imagine when you are in a dangerous situation, but you cannot hear and you can’t even speak. How do you ask for help? Even Indonesia’s emergency call system does not accommodate you as Deaf. Imagine if in that condition you couldn’t even do anything, because you got tonic immobility. What can you do?

With our application, you can inform your surroundings that you are in danger. You can attract the attention of people around you to avoid further harm.

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My Role

I have a passion in coding and UI/UX area, but as a Front-End Engineer that working for years in IT industry, my team was assigned me to be the Product Owner who lead them during this challenge. Besides, there was a team member that really good at visual design, so Product Owner was the best choice for me even if I didn’t have any experience in this field, because this was my very first experience.

In this challenge, I developed strategy and managed the team from the beginning, from the big abstract idea through the various stages of visions, user interview, strategy and design into initial MVP, GARDA.


Our team was assembled because we were choose Disabled Community. Most of us were interested in this community not only because we want to learn more about accessibility, but also we want to make this world more accessible. So, together we’ve voted and decided to “Help disabled community to solve their problems or issues”.

Before we moved to the next phase, we were created a team agreement. This can help us defines our expectations for each other. Our operating parameters and the ways in which we will define success at the end of the project. The very first thing I wrote on our team agreement was: Everyone should not only be on the same page but also involved on design decisions.

And here, I proudly tell you about my team members:

Aji Saputra Raka Siwi

Technical Lead
I was working with him from the previous challenge until the final challenge. Since he is working as an IOS Developer, he always share his knowledge and teach our team members Swift, including me. He also make sure everyone in our team follow the coding rules and write a clean code.

Edo Lorenza

We were team mate for a week on our first time in Academy and I worked with him again in this challenge and in the final challenge alongside with Aji. He is not only smart and creative, but also really fun to work with.

Eko Cahyo

Product Design Lead
He is really good at product design. He is not also good at implementing text, colours, and images in a way that enhances a design or interaction, but also an initiator. You can always count on him to give you honest, direct feedback and ideas from an outside perspective.

Ranty Pratiwi

Our positive agent that always carries a positive attitude no matter what happens. The most important thing from Ranty is Reliable.

Adeline Marvel

The youngest one that always bring joy to our team. She has a lot of energy and optimistic, she never letting negativity get the better of her.

Investigation Phase

Because of the pandemic, we mostly did qualitative research on the internet. We read case study journals, scientific journals, and even some books including the one that I rented from online library. We also interviewed a Deaf person with the help of a sign language interpreter from Parakerja, a corporation and one of key community stakeholders alongside government, NGO, Special Education School, etc.

In a limited amount of time and the datas provided by the government are not as much as we thought, we decided that we will only focus on Deaf community, since we have Bunga as our guiding resource.

Development Phase

As I was mentioned before, we were so lucky that we have someone who is really good at design and another one who is really good at coding. Both of them became the lead of each division: Technology and Design.

For me, as a Product Owner I should trust my team and it’s important not to micro manage everything. I will not tell you more about this phase, because everything went really smooth.


In this Challenge we focused on the right process, in the right way.

Our focus is not about the right solution, it’s all about solving the right problem. So, these are our key successes:

  1. Prioritise the priority list
    Since I was not really familiar with project management especially to create a schedule, I was only created 2–3 things to prioritise everyday, and those should finish by the end of the day.
  2. Split the team
    Imagine you have few things to research, but you don’t have enough time and human resources. Splitting the team Is the best choice. You can divide the topic you should research and ask which team would go on which topic.
  3. Reality check
    I always encourage my team to created simple diagrams. This is not only to analyse the problems but also to reality-check the validity of our approach. This helps us to deep dive into the real problem rather than creating superficial solutions
    For me, it’s important to have a profound knowledge of the current competitive situation about our products and competing products, because this help us to refine our products strategically. So, I asked my team to searching for and download every similar app to compare.
  4. Design decision
    I believe that the best product design is a collaboration between all the team members. In this case, Product Owner, Designer and Engineer. So everyone should not only be on the same page on the problem statement but also involved on design decisions.
  5. We should be FUN, focus on user need
    Working as a Front-End Developer make me more aware that less Is More. We should focusing on core features and Minimise user cognitive load, thus we can create a MVP and maximise usability.
  6. Attention to details down to the smallest bits.
    That is why the entire product should be tested and revised several times. Again, this is not only one person’s job, but everyone’s job.
  7. Tech Collaboration
    It’s important to have a good collaboration. So I created a simple GIT collaboration guidelines like branch naming conventions and git comment rules. Me and Aji also added some coding rules such as using meaningful names for variables, function and method. By doing so, everyone on the team can learn how to code.


Because it’s confidential, and we are still on going to develop version 2, I can’t share you our Challenge Organiser

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Written by


I’ve always seen myself as a scientist at heart, always curious about how the world works and experimentation as a means of better understanding.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +754K people. Follow to join our community.


Written by


I’ve always seen myself as a scientist at heart, always curious about how the world works and experimentation as a means of better understanding.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +754K people. Follow to join our community.

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