Checkmate is a personal safety device and mobile application.
User Experience Design
Industrial Design

UX/UI: Interviews | Competitor Analysis |Affinity Map | Journey map |Concept Map | Sketch | Wireframes | Mid-fidelity Prototype | High-fidelity Prototype | Usability Testing | Iteration | UI kit 

3 Months

Adobe XD | Illustrator | Photoshop | Mural  | Miro | Zoom

Since the beginning, it was pretty clear that we were interested in tackling a problem space that would affect society in a positive way. One of the ideas that came up in the discussion was about the lack of effective security devices one could have in case of emergencies. This was further discussed due to the fact that there has been a spotlight on assaults and other physical altercations of various degrees happening in dense urban environments such as Toronto and other big cities in the country. A member of the team shared a story about a first-hand experience of mugging which gave us a very close and personal perspective into what can happen to someone at the moment. It spurred the team to pursue the idea of how we could help a person that was faced in a situation like this (or in any situation in which they feel at risk).

Since we were interested in creating a safety device we gravitated towards cards that showed different elements (such as tracking or an activation method) that could be involved in an experience where such a device would be used. We used the method kit cards in order to flesh out our ideas a bit better and find inspiration. The method kit also helped us brainstorm and think about our ideas and different ways they could be achieved. The different categories in the method kit helped us see different components that could be involved in this idea-generating process. 

These cards were useful to us in helping get the conversation started around how we wanted to develop our product. They helped us to view the problem space from different angles, offering inspiration and different ways to interpret the ideas we built. We recognized a few cards as being key components to keep in mind through the development process, such as the Visual Appearance of our solution, the kinds of Users that could potentially use this solution, and understanding the experience in which they would need such a thing. These influenced our work through the entire process, from research to ideation and prototyping.
In this scenario storyboard we portray what we believe to be a situation where the implmentation of Checkmate would be highly effective. April, a female student, is returning home late from her classes and notices a man starting to follow her. She tries to pick up her pace to lose her pursuer as she doesnt feel safe but it doesn’t help. This would be the point where April would utilize a personal safety device if she had one.
To know more about my target audience, we interviewed 8 participants. The participants' average age was 33; out of 8 participants, 5 identified as female and 3 as male. We recruited these people from our relatives, friends via social media networks. These are women with security concerns, elderly people with health problems, people who do not feel safe while traveling. Here are the top findings from interviews:​​​​​​​

To better understand current personal safety devices and interior design apps and determine Checkmate’s brand positioning, we selected and analyzed three major apps in the market. Through this research, we found out that if Checkmate could provide an intuitive design. And with an aesthetic physical device, it can differentiate itself and succeed in the market.

Creating an affinity diagram helped visualize all the information we had gathered up to that point. A couple of themes that stood out in this process were centred around the device itself. One was the trigger or method of activation. From our research, we learned that people who are faced with stressful, fight-or-flight situations have a hard time reacting appropriately, potentially struggling to even use their phones. We needed to come up with a way to allow people to be able to use the device hassle-free. Another useful insight that we gained was the need for this device to be discreet so that it wouldn't be identified in situations when it's needed..

The journey map was developed to depict the stages customers go through when interacting with the pro-posed product from unboxing the product to accessing the complete experience on the mobile phone. It is rooted in data-driven research and visually represents the different phases of customers' experience based on a variety of dimensions, including customer sentiment, goals, and touchpoints.

Mind map helped us place an emphasis on identifying the relationships between key topics. Connect our users, understand the situations they face, with our proposed concept. It aided visualization of integrated topics that are interconnected in various ways.  Supporting multiple perspectives and ways of looking at the same problem, proved to be useful when analyzing our problem space.

User will enter their information to register to the app. Then user will connect the personal safety device to the mobile app. For connection bluetooth should be on. Then user will add number, name and other information of people they want to reach during the emergency. User should check the settings if all feature are on. Such as video recording, live location etc. Then device will be ready to use during the emergency. When the user activates the emergency, notifications will go to the contacts user added. If user press the emergency button by mistake they are able to cancel the alarm in few seconds.  

With a better understanding of our users and their needs, we brainstormed our ideas and sketched different kinds of solutions. First, Industrial Designers tried to sketch an aesthetic device that can be carried easily and practically used by the users. Then User Experience Designers sketched mobile app interfaces that users can activate the futures of the device, store and edit their information. 
Usability and accessibility are the most important aspects of our personal safety device and its mobile application. In the second phase of sketching, we decided that a wearable product would be better for the user. And Industrial designers focus on a device that users can use as a watch, neckless, and so on.

After sketching all ideas we compare them to each other to decide on the best solution. We conducted A/B testing and according to our feedback, we decided on our final concept. When moving forward with the final solution, we add some features from other concepts.  As we develop our personal safety device, we also decided on adding video recording and voice activating features.

Once we designed the mobile app on paper, we moved to the next step and created a low-fidelity wireframe. We illustrated the necessary features for the user to use the safety device more effectively.We also provided the user with the ability to manage the device. Here are the main features that we are planing to design for this app:Sending alert to emergency contacts, Creating emergency contacts, tracking footsteps, sharing live location and video recording with emergency contacts, managing the system settings like alarm, camera, location.

Our personal safety device will have a voice activation feature. So we created a voice user interface with design elements like Statements&Prompts, Local& Global Intent, Segue Interjections Fallbacks, State&Conditional Branching. When the user says ‘help’ the device will send an alert to emergency contacts. And when the user says ‘Cancel’ it will be canceled.

As designers, we aim to optimize and speed up our process. We want to answer to "How do we design something visual, to pres-ent to the clients at an earlier stage?" We created a mood board to present the feel-ing targeting our user group. It is exciting, youthful and fast-paced which conveys pas-sionate and positive moods. However, mood boards can be too abstract for many people, since it’s challenging to project how a mood board would manifest as tangible visual design elements. We wanted to carry across the fun of the brand while maintaining a sense of inclusivity and gender neutrality
Next steps 
The next step of this project is to add more features, such as live chat with emergency contacts. We will continue user testing and gathering data. Besides, we will continue improving the UI Kit based on feedback and adjustments made to new features.
We enjoyed this project thanks to its creative opportunities, and it helped us to deepen our knowledge of safety devices. In this project, we faced many challenges in usability testing of the VUI feature. It was hard to convey VUI features on the wireframe prototype that was not fully developed. Also, in this project UX Research Team and ID Team worked together. We had great brainstorms and we learned a lot of things from each other.
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