Parachute is an app, specifically directed towards women. It's a get home safe app, designed to help women feel safe and comfortable traveling alone whether it's after dark or in a new environment.

My Roles Included;

  • Research

  • User Research 

  • Idea Generation 

  • Brand & Identity 

  • Lo-Fi Sketches

  • Wireframes

  • Visual Design (UI)

The Problem

“Get home safe” “Text me when you get home“ “Don’t be walking alone this late at night”.

For decades women have carried pepper spray in their handbags and put keys in-between their fingers in a car park at night. I thought to myself there must be some sort of way to combat this digitally.

Most women at some stage in their life will feel uncomfortable walking home alone at night-time. Particularly in a new city, learning new routes and meeting new people. How might I help make women feel more comfortable walking at night-time, whether it be in their home city or a brand new environment?

The Idea

Typing a route into Google Maps gives us the quickest route, not neccessarily the safest. What if there was a “night mode” version of Google Maps which took into account street lamps, businesses/population on the street, whether there was CCTV etc. Users could also rate a street. If they felt excellent, good, OK, bad, awful etc.  

 

Another aspect I would like to add to the app is a buddy system. The user could select 3-6 trusted contacts entrusting them with their location and sending alerts (when required).

 

The idea would be to make users feel more safe while travelling by themselves. they would easily be able to let a close friend or family member be aware of their whereabouts.

 

It would make users feel less anxious and unsafe while walking at home on their own and would also allow parents and partners to feel more secure know their loved ones are safe.

User Research

I wanted to better understand how women feel when they walk home alone. I also wanted to know what made them feel more comfortable. 

 

After conducting a survey, I received 42 responses. Of these responses, the answers I received were close to what I predicted. Most women did fee unsafe walking home. They felt more comfortable when someone knew their location, when they had their phone with them or if they had something they could utilise as a weapon.

What factors make you feel more safe while walking home?

This could be lighting, whether or not there’s people around etc.

User Testing

Planning User Testing
  1. Establish Objectives

  2. Establish clear agenda of what needs to be completed before user testing begins

  3. Set user tasks

  4. Construct user questions

  5. Results

  6. Actions to implement after testing is completed

  7. Repeat

Objectives

  • Is the navigation intuitive?

  • Is the layout/design accessible for all user personas?

  • It is taking users too long to conduct a task?

    Does time length differ between user groups?

  • What are the critical errors?

  • What are the non-critical errors?

  • Does the app meet user expectations?

Agenda

To conduct my usability testing, I will first create a mockup ensuring all the buttons properly and lead to the correct page. 

 

Then I will devise a set of questions to ask my users at the start of user testing. Then I will ask users to complete a set of tasks on my app. Finally, I will ask users to complete a second set of questions about their experience using the app.

 

From the information I receive  after my first user test, I will make whatever changes are required within the app and repeat the process.

 

At the end of the user testing process, the main/only goal is to release an app that customers find useful, effective, efficient and satisfying.

User Testing - Q&A

Results
  • The Useful Resources section of the app seemed to get positive feedback from all the users.

  • The users seemed to enjoy the brand colours, some finding them very calming.

  • Users found the app very well structured and easy to navigate.

  • There seems to be a little confusion between the “plan a route” page and the “taxi” page. Perhaps a change in colour on one of the pages will help.

  • After the final user testing session, most users said that they wouldn’t change anything.

  • Most users found Parachute very helpful and would recommend to their friends.

Actions Required

  • Introduce an emergency button so users could contact emergency services through-out the app.

  • Add a “useful contacts” section - perhaps with numbers for helplines and informative websites. E.g. Women’s Aid

  • Add a “notifications” section

  • Differentiate between the “Plan a route” section and the “taxi” section of the app.

  • Distinguish between buttons. Have a difference between “sign in” and “login”

  • Edit “rate your route” section - try and only have one question where the user has to type anything

  • Instead of “password” in the profile & account section change it to “edit password”

  • Develop taxi section of the app

  • Add a “contact us” section

User Flows & Sitemap

Process

After completing lots of research about my users (surveys, user testing, user personas) I decided to get stuck into the design process. Because the app is designed to be used when the user is feeling unsafe or uncomfortable, the layout of Parachute needed very close attention.

I also spent a lot of time really refining the brand and colours associated with it. I wanted a very friendly feel to the app, so it would give connotations of the “buddy” element to the app.

Onboarding

Something I didn’t properly consider in the very beginning was onboarding. This came to my attention massively during my user testing and decided to make a clear and detailed onboarding process for my users.

 

Because the app is to be used when the user is feeling uncomfortable or frightened it is imperative that there is detailed instructions on how the app is used. This took a couple stages to get right.

Because there is a taxi element to the app, this involves permissions to your contact details and any existing taxi apps already installed on the users device. Parachute will also need permission to access users for the friends and family section.

Parachute will also need permission to access the users location to notify friends and family and also when calling/booking a taxi.

After my first round of user testing with this version of onboarding, it was helpful for users, however felt there could be more information given. I decided to create a few more pages so users would have a better understanding of how Parachute works.

Notifications

During user testing, one of the users suggested adding a notification section to the app so users could view their recent activity.

emergency contact

Another element I wanted to add to Parachute was an emergency button.

This would mean that users are able to contact emergency services within seconds. It is on almost every page in the app so is super accessible.

However it is at the top left hand corner of the screen - This will ensure that while it is easily accessible, users do not accidentally hit this button regularly.

Promotional video

For Parachute, I decided to create a promotional video. it would show, at a glance, what the app actually does. The video would display different screens with some text describing what the app is used for.

The outcome

I'm always interested in working on new projects.

Please send me an email to work together or just to say hi! 

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