In the past year, the world has witnessed what many communities have been painfully aware of for over a hundred years — calling 9-1-1 in a time of crisis may pose a greater threat to your safety than the crisis itself.
Seeing the proliferation of community-based alternatives to the familiar emergency number, I imagined a digital tool that could help individuals quickly discover and contact the existing services available in their area.
Sketching: Only the Essentials
Since this tool was intended to be used in emergency situations, my main priority was streamlining the journey from opening the app to contacting a provider as much as possible. This meant limiting the information users are required to input to just two mission-critical variables: what is the emergency, and where is it happening. I was also conscious not to require any personally-identifying information that would create unnecessary barriers for communities that have historically seen this data abused.
Wireframing: Familiar Patterns
By emulating elements from common mobile apps (e.g. Google Maps' destination card), I aimed to create an interface that would feel predictable to users — delivering outcomes aligned with their expectations.
Iteration: Usable UI
I explored several variations of the UI to make navigation as straight-forward as possible. I decided to scrap the profile and history pages, then the hamburger menu all together in order to maintain emphasis on the primary actions. Documenting the 'emergency type' and 'location' filters on subsequent pages enabled quick access to edit previous selections and made step indicators less necessary. Moving the prompt copy and primary interactive elements to the bottom of the screen helped bundle similar information and placed the buttons within reach.