Protothon - Disaster Relief/UX
Disaster Relief Protothon
Hackathon: Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 6:30 PM – Sat, Oct 14, 2017, 10:00 PM
Award: Won the Best Presentation Award
Project Timeline: 10hrs
Platform: Mobile App
Role: Worked collaboratively in a team of two. I was a lead UX designer. I conducted User research, testing, and worked on UX/UI design for mobile app concept that streamlines the process for disaster victims to get help.
Participants compete to solve a specific real world problem through rapid prototyping and design thinking. Within a 10hrs participants have to come up with an innovative and sustainable solutions that addressed one of the many disaster-related challenges voiced by the panel. This event is focused on Disaster Relief and is hosted by NYU Tandon School of Engineering - MAGNET and Sponsored by EY
How can we solve New York’s massive housing problem after the Hurrican Sandy?
Created an mobile application that enables victims in the city to instantly find safe shelter through volunteering hosts. Our hosts are people who want to provide help to the victimized area and reach out to people through an organized system.
1. Research :Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy hit Oct. 29, 2012 and quickly became one of the worst natural disasters in the city's history. It left tens of thousands of people immediately homeless and drained the life savings of countless New Yorkers.
New York faces 'massive housing problem' after Sandy, governor says
Between 30,000 and 40,000 people in New York City could need housing, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday. Officials are working on coming up with a solution, he said, but they haven't yet.
"We don't have a lot of empty housing in this city," he said.
A survivor from Hurricane Sandy
Daphay Sanchez, Staten Island
Many houses are completely shattered. Ours, although hit quite badly, has remained pretty much intact. Our neighbour's roof was blown away, for example.
We are now staying at a friends' house in Brooklyn. We won't be able to return to our house for months. So we will have to move from one friend's house to another.
There is no information about the support available for victims of this storm. All we hear is - go to the evacuation shelters.
After researching about the Hurrican Sandy I found that the victims need these key followings:
Victims need a immediate shelter after the disasters.
Victims need a affordable shelter options.
Victims need a shelter near their location.
To understand about existing solution to this problem I found out that Airbnb has the free shelter app for the evacuee: Air BNB Airbnb Evacuee App
2. User Testing
In order to better understand the pain points of the existing solution, we created a user testing script to determine if users understand these key concepts:
1.what the app is for?
2.how to search for available houses?
3.how to list a free shelter?
We wrote a user script that addressed the above key concepts and asked users to perform the tasks. We tested users with no previous knowledge of the site.
User Testing Findings
- Trusted Hosts - reviews
Separated by disasters
Shows available houses around my areas
Simple steps to look for houses
Filters help me to find specific places
Hosting a house takes a long process
The cost is free during certain time depends on the houses
Hard to find a places immediately
Have to look through different houses to find a free shelter
Free is not actually free - I never found a free house
We also Asked Host from Airbnb
We found multiples problems of the Airbnb Evacuee and we were curious and asked the host why we can’t book a home for free as the website says.
The host replied back and told us that we are not evacuee so it’s not free. But there was no direction on the website that tell us about registering as evacuee or the whole process of how it works.
Here are the 3 key problems of existing solution:
1. Too many unavailable homes (200+) are listed
2. They say it is $0 on Air bnb but when you book it gives you a different cost
3. Not easy for an immediate use ( Need to book in few days advance)
3. Our Solution:
In speaking with the panel with three people who have worked in different aspects of disaster relief and recovery efforts, we identified the key goals for the shelter app. Ultimately, the app needs a better shelter solutions for the disaster victims. We can deliver on this goal by:
Design and create user workflow specifically for disaster victims
Direct users to find homes immediately
Simplify the booking process
Quick sketches of main screens of the app. After taking another user testing, we iterated the prototype and the flow
We prioritized the key findings from user testing to create a design solution for looking for shelter and listing a shelter.
To incorporate the insights from our user testing we made the following design decisions:
1. Prioritize the call to action to search for shelters
2. Made the serach bar prominent and displayed the available shelters on the map within the current location
3. Made hosting a house as secondary Call to Action
4. Made the process simpler for the both hosting & looking for houses
5. Added a map feature that directs the evacuee to get to the shelter
6. added a verification process to identify the evacuee for the host
In the short amount of time we had, we made a quick invision prototype to display our design solutions. The prototype follows the users searching for the shelters and hosting a shelter.
Invision Link: https://invis.io/Y3DYID1N2
We presented the final outcome to Domenick Propati, founder of Protothon and an NYU professor, and User Experience Strategy and Design Teams at EY.
Our team won the one of the three awards from the Protothon, the best presentation award. The judges specifically liked our in depth research about the problem and our solutions that tackled three main problems of the existing airbnb evacuee app.