Overview

AlertSquad is an app to send, recieve, and manage alerts within a group of users who want to update all the group members synchronously and are able to respond immediately with appropriate help. Users can easily attach images or videos to the alert. This has been my side project for a unique requirement specially focusing on group of users who want to communicate during an emergency.

Role and Duration

User Researcher, UI/UX Designer, Product Designer


Jan - Mar 2019

My Goals

  • To design an app dedicated to send alerts and update group members of any emergency to keep everyone safe and notified.
  • Learn how to conduct user research and analyze it's data by creating personas and user journey. Create flow charts and wireframes, design using Sketch, prototype through Principle, and test the design concept.

User Research

User Personas

To understand user's pain points I worked with a focus group and engaged with their activities. I picked 8 people who frequently go on field trips or camps with friends or group of other enthusiast travelers. There were 4 males and 4 females. These people were in the age range of 25 - 45 years. These people love technology and travel experiences. They might be going for one day tours or few days trips or any local outings. I interviewed teachers/parents taking kids on field trips, and travel/camp guides going on group trips.

I was able to gather information by observing user's interactions with individuals and within the group. I participated in group activities to understand the context and needs of the users. Observed and asked questions as how they communicate and update each other about incidents or locations.


User Needs

  • Trip members want to update each other of any emergency situation and wait for an acknowledgement.
  • Drivers in separate vehicles want to communicate each other's needs or location.
  • Camp guides want to update of their plans to other guides or group members.


Motivation

"As a traveler, I want to update my friends about a sick member, so they can come and help"

"As a group leader, I want to alert my group of a fire"

"As a camp driver, I want to inform other campers about emergency weather update so they can stop and wait"

Competitor Analysis

Carried out UX competitor analysis to understand the gaps in the market and what features can benefit the users which are not provided in a single app. The research gave me insights as to how other products has been used as a work around but are not an efficient solution.

Insights

After conducting number of interviews, contextual inquiry and analyzing the gathered data, I was able to understand the pain points of the users, how they communicate with each other at different points of time and how are their moods and reactions to each case.

  • No centralized medium to communicate with group members
  • Whatsapp is used as primary tool for discussion but it lacks alerting system. The home screen notification might be switched off. An urgent message might be unread among lot of other chat messages.
  • No easy way to send quick alerts while driving.
  • There is no way to know the acknowledgement of alerts.
  • It is difficult to update their locations to all group members.
  • Don't have a single place to discuss how to handle an emergency situation and keep everyone updated.

Conceptualization

Based on the user research and insights, I started working on the user workflows for both the sender and receiver of alert messages and to organize the flow for group and alert management. This helped me address all the steps experienced by any user to accomplish the tasks which I might have overlooked.

The workflow process helped me realize the main modules, I need interfaces for - user onboarding, the sender's screen, the receiver's screen, and the management of groups and alerts. Keeping user needs as my main goal, I started sketching low-fi designs for primary use cases and began to conduct usability testing. Once I was confident with my wireframes, I started creating hi-fi mockups.

I tried to keep the app simple to use and sociable. The primary color theme of the app is light and friendly, as it will be used by outdoor users.

The Solution

Welcome and onboarding screens

  • Welcome screen with app name and logo.
  • User creates an account by providing personal details.

Home screen to send and access alerts

  • Triggers one click template based alert with a simple default alert message. App picks the location of the user and attaches to the alert.
  • Users can create custom alerts with alert details and image attachments.
  • User needs to confirm before sending alert or can cancel if pressed by mistake.
  • Home screen displays latest alerts.
  • Provides link to access the group information.

Receiver's screen and alert details

  • User receives alert on lock screen with default responses to send immediately.
  • User can view details of one click alerts or custom alerts with acknowledgements.
  • Group members can add comments to alerts.

Alert and Group management

  • View, create and delete alerts
  • View, create and delete groups. Activate/deactivate groups and access group information.
  • View users profile within each group. Add/remove group members.

Alert sender's interaction with the app

User can click on 'One Click Alert' button to send quick alerts. The homepage shows the latest alert. On clicking the alert gives the details and other team member's comments.

Project Learnings

  1. Hunt for the right problem

    Instead of assuming user problem, observe, absorb, participate and ask questions to identify the right problem based on frequency and prevalence of specific issues.

  2. Importance of user flow

    As I was done with research, I wanted to put down all the ideas into mocks. But as I continued, I realized I was missing important steps in the flow. I perceived the importance of user flow and it helped me develop the information architecture.

  3. Test and feedback

    Testing and feedback was iterative process, starting from sketching on paper to lo-fi to high-fi. Earlier discoveries are helpful in reaching better solutions.