Safe Route is a feature proposal for an iOS safewalk app “Companion”. It is designed to favor a safe route when starting a new trip.
“Companion” is an iOS app which allows users to go from one point to another and have someone to monitor their trip, and potentially take action in case of an emergency. As a team in a UI design course, we aimed to design a new feature for this existing app in 3 weeks.
Safe Route offers comfort and control to the user when starting a new trip. The feature suggests a route to take which is reported to be safe by other users in the past.
There are three filters that user can choose from to further customize the suggested route. User can choose a route which is more populated, has more stores, or street lights.
At the end of a trip, the user can flag areas along the route for being too crowded, not having enough landmark, being too dimly light, or other reasons.
Our process began by a usability study of the app “companion”. We used think-aloud method with 4 users followed by an interview to understand their experience of using the app.
The study revealed some of the major errors users make when using the app as well as a glimpse into opportunities to design.
Users had expected the app to provide more feedback, tapped on the logo button by mistake to see the route from their location to destination and were not clear how to end a trip.
Taking what we learned from our research we started brainstorming to come up with at least 3 ideas for a new feature.
Integration with external messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp allows the user to import friends from common messaging platforms and contact them within Companion. Users can share information about their trip with people who do not have the app, or to those not in the user’s phone contact list.
Suggesting the safest route to the user when starting a new trip guides the users from point A to point B in the most efficient and secure path. The feature provides comfort for the user when they are in an unfamiliar neighbourhood.
Flagging safety of streets, and neighbourhoods and sharing insights with other community members, helps the user to provide and utilize insights about safety in the neighbourhood. This feature allows the user to flag certain areas on the map as she walks from point A to B.
We developed a persona and scenarios in which each feature might be used. This helped us further to imagine how each feature can help the user to achieve a goal or avoid a pain point.
Moving forward, we focused on two of our proposed feature and merged them into one. This decision was made to streamline the experience of a journey through safe route with the possibility of providing feedback on the safety of the route that was taken.