Nearly half of young women say they feel unsafe walking alone at night. This causes them to avoid going out at night alone. I helped design an app called Convoy to help women avoid danger when walking alone.
UX Research: Conducted competitive analysis, user testing, and surveys. Led the affinity mapping and user journey process.
UX Design: Prototyping experiences at low and high fidelity through concept sketches, wireframes, and interactive prototypes. UI Design.
User Communication: Representing the team as the point of contact for the users to schedule interviews and testing sessions.
August 2019 - December 2019
*Project is currently in progress
Primary Prototyping Tool
Anjali, Yujin, and Nektar
Average SUS Score: 77
Average No. of Clicks: 2.2
Average Time on Task: 7.5 Seconds
Best Features: Street View, Neighborhoods
Features Needing Improvement: Crime Data, Maps
According to publicly available reports, 50% of women feel unsafe when they are walking alone at night.
Many solutions have been created to help solve this problem such as wearable technology, location sharing, and security apps. Despite the high statistics showing the effect that this issue is having on women, a robust product or system does not currently exist that can help keep women safe.
Currently, many women feel unsafe walking alone at night and there is no all encompassing existing solution to aid in reducing fear and increasing safety.
Our group chose to explore what creating a system to help keep women safer at night could look like.
We studied safety applications and wearable technology aimed at keeping women safe.
We wanted to understand what current market products were offering and what they may be missing.
We created a chart to compare the features offered by each product.
From this chart, we could clearly see that all the products did not have the same features. Users would have to have multiple products in order to get all the features that they may need.
**This chart is a part of a larger evaluation.**
From this competitive analysis, we know that the new Convoy app should have:
1. Emergency connections to family and friends, a hotline, and/or police.
2. A map to help with navigation, connection to people, and obtain accurate safety information.
“I would never call the police as a preventative measure. I think it would just be a waste of their time.”
Interviews, & Surveys
To better understand our users we conducted semi-structured interviews with 9 women. Going into the interview we had many assumptions. We thought our users would definitely want a weapon and that they probably would just call the police in the instance of danger.
However, our interviews did not confirm our assumptions. Next, a survey was created based on what was learned from our initial interviews to confirm our interview findings. In this survey, 36 women helped us understand what they truly needed to feel safe.
During the interview, we had participants write about conditions that make them feel safe or unsafe. We also asked them what they may do to stay safe. We used this information to help us formulate our survey questions in order to gain even more insights.
Below are the findings from our interviews, and survey.
Next, we chose to complete an Affinity Map in order to organize the information we learned from our users.
Our users wanted to be able to stay safe, but after completing the affinity map we realized there were many reasons why this was a challenge for them.
Understanding The Users
Based on the data obtained, we created Empathy Maps and User Personas to help to better empathize with the users and their story.
The two main user groups are represented by Marie and Leigh.
Next, we mapped out the User Journey to identify points of fear and anxiety when walking alone at night.
We used the Journey Map to identify touch points and potential opportunities.
User Pain Points
From the research conducted, we identified many challenges in regards to walking alone at night as a young adult woman.
Below we identified a few of the major pain points experienced by users that were prioritized for the first iterations. Insights were ranked, and this was used to prioritize pain points.
Users needed more information about the safety levels of areas and cities unfamiliar to them.
Problems to Solve
Pain point identification let us to the following problems to solve:
How might we connect users to other people quickly?
How might we share safety reports and authentic news stories with easily?
The "How Might We" questions helped guide us to specific problems to solve.
We used what we learned about our users to begin to brainstorm different ways to solve the pain points identified.
We utilized a Creativity vs. Feasibility Graph in order to narrow our solutions down to a few ideas that addressed pain points at different points of the users' journey.
We wanted to think outside the box, but we also did not want to create systems that were too expensive or too far ahead of current technology.
We used our graph and the ideas in the optimal zone to help us create three possible solutions. Next, based on user feedback we created detailed sketches and paper prototypes of each potential solution.
We referred back to all of our user research, user pain points, and "How Might We" questions in order to make sure we stayed focused on user needs.
Transportation App & Key Fob
This transportation application presents users with two modes to use when feeling unsafe. Users can select SOLO and be directed to a bike, scooter, or rental car to drive. Users can select DUO and be directed to a projected meeting spot for pickup by a ride share service.
News & Media App and Wearable
This application presents users with the safest route to walk based on safety ratings. Users are guided audibly by a corresponding wearable technology that calls loved one in emergencies. Users also see local news reports for areas along their route.
Buddy Walking App
This application shows other people nearby that are walking to a similar destination. Users can join trips and gain a group of walking buddies to accompany them to their destination.
We presented our solutions to our users for user testing.
Below I highlighted some of the feedback received.
Users liked the familiarity of the app in comparison to other ride share apps, but they did not want to worry about how they would know if they were on the fastest route to a ride.
News & Media Solution
Users liked the ability to see local news stories for areas near them. However, they stated they were unsure of how to interact with the wearable.
Buddy Walking Solution
Users liked the idea of not having to walk alone, but many users worried about the potential stereotypes that this idea could encourage.
Feedback from our users helped us to choose one solution that we felt would best solve the problem. Many women stated that they would rather avoid crime altogether, and that there was much concern about potential security risks with the Buddy Walking Solution.
This led us to choose the news and media solution to as our final solution to implement and test with our users through multiple iterations. In this solution, users will enter a destination and be provided the safest route to their destination. Users will have the option of utilizing a wearable device that will guide them with haptic feedback along their route. Users will also be able to search for information about neighborhoods, and join communities in order to receive that community's latest crime and news stories.
In iteration 1, we completed user testing and feedback sessions in order to help us understand how our final solution would work to meet our user's needs. Our users loved the app idea, because they often worried about their safety when walking alone at night.
Users enjoyed being able to see the news and neighborhood information that went along with their selected routes. However, users also wanted to be able to see the related neighborhood and news information directly on the routes view of the page.
Our users stated that the on-boarding process seemed to be a very simple and fun experience. However, it was unclear how or why they should select route preferences for each neighborhood they joined. They were still not sure how comfortable they were interacting with the wearable.
Our users were excited about seeing the most recent neighborhood news and alerts in the neighborhood section of the app. They loved this feature, and really wanted more detailed information about different neighborhoods. They suggested having their neighborhoods at the top of the screen instead of seeing recent neighborhoods first. This could help ensure consistent and quick access to the neighborhoods they walked through the most.
In iteration 2, we completed user testing and feedback sessions. We changed the name of our app to Convoy in order to better reflect the app as something that could partner up with our users to help them find safe places. Our users found the Convoy app very easy to use. They were able to quickly find and identify different parts of the app, and they really enjoyed the simplicity of the design.
We continued to hear users requests for more of a focus on our neighborhood and news sections of Convoy. Users stated that they did not yet trust the app, and wanted explanations about the logic behind the neighborhood ratings and the source of the news stories. They loved the detailed reviews, the street view, and the data visualization that was added to give users a better understanding of a neighborhood. However, users wanted more clarity on the different types of crime neighborhoods had, and the frequency of those crimes during different parts of the day. Finally, our users were still not understanding the wearable device. Many users stated that they would prefer not to keep walking in a dangerous situation, and would instead call an Uber. This left us questioning the necessity of the wearable.
Iterate & Pivot. We plan to take the feedback we got from iteration 2 and come up with the next iteration of our design. With the hesitations about the wearable and the requests for a more robust neighborhood and news app, our team plans to focus our efforts on the neighborhood and news sections of Convoy. We will test this new design with our users to make sure that we are meeting our user's needs.
Final Design. A final design will be created to present to our users. In this presentation, we will outline what we learned from our research and provide a solution to the problem based on what we learned during user research and testing.
This project is currently in progress for a semester long class. Please feel free to come back in a few weeks to see the results of our next steps.