Industry research, experience mapping, user flow, information architecture, sketching, high-fidelity mockups, prototyping
There are four main stages of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Each stage has different challenges, and every community has unique management plans that require an immense amount of funding, resources and coordination. While exploring these four stages, we saw opportunity to focus on disaster response. Research reports showed us that local leaders and community members are best suited to provide efficient response; however, they often lack the capacity and resources to do so.
People have a natural motivation to respond when they hear about tragic events. Without knowledge and clear directive, however, it is difficult for them to turn that motivation into contributions. We decided to build off this motivation and create a product that would provide community members with actionable opportunities to get them involved in disaster response.
From our ideation session, we decided to create an app called Responder that…
We began by mapping out the primary user flow, outlining how a user would navigate from discovery to support to sharing to tracking. This helped us identify the core features we needed to design for.
To determine how these features would translate into an app, we created the information architecture.
Responder is separated into four sections: Emergencies Near You, Tracking, Profile and Alerts. Emergencies Near You is the heart of app, where users can discover, support and share about local emergencies. From this main section, users can navigate to Tracking to follow their donations, view their Profile to manage settings and redeem points, and check their Alerts to view all past notifications about support requests and donation updates. Tracking, Profile and Alerts stand within the main navigation alongside Emergencies Near You because they are features that we assume users would use regularly.
To strengthen our solution, I created an experience map and highlighted the highs and lows of donating to causes. This exercise helped us to see that users may need:
A signal that the app is reliable and that donations are going to credible organizations
Of which disasters need the most help and which items are in most need
How to share about the disaster and the user’s donation in a sensitive yet encouraging way
Where did the donation go? What did it help achieve?
Taking into consideration our user needs, we moved quickly through wireframes and high-fidelity mockups, using a UI kit to streamline our visual design process. For our final submission, we included a clickable prototype.
Looking ahead, I would consider diving deeper into the experience of local leaders to better understand how community members can support them in emergency management. I'd like to ask questions such as:
I'd also consider conducting research to challenge our assumptions about user needs. Some questions I may want to ask are: