TEAM SUNBEAM
Peer Economy for Emergency Response

Project Timeline
From Nov 10 to Dec 17 at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

My Teammates
Nishchala & Po

My Main Responsibilities
Research, collect feedback, record group processes, and report. 

Task Description
Each team will design a peer economy centered emergency response at a municipal, regional, state, national or global scale, and the team will create a responsive web design (RWD) for their new peer economy that both end users (customers and service providers) can experience on 2 devices: mobile and laptop.

Part I: Research

As our final project for the Interaction Design Studios course, we are challenged to pitch our own product within the domain: emergency response for peer economy. For this project specifically, our instructor wanted us to practice mainly the Guerilla Research method, where we approach friends and strangers on the street, in coffee shops, or during commute to learn about their thoughts on the subject matter.

Guerilla Research really fits in our design needs because it helps us learn about users' ideas fast. More importantly, to design a new product that aims to solve real problems, our team wants to gather the most amount of information to narrow down our scope.  

We concluded our Guerilla Research with the following questions and statements from our interviewees.

Can you believe that they [the insurance company] want to hold the money even though we have already replaced the roof and the bill was sent to us.
— Viviana, after hurricane in Florida
Tried, but it was broken beyond repair.
— Anonymous interviewee, after an earthquake in India
Irresponsible behavior on the government’s part - trying to suppress bad press about the dengue epidemic.
— Anonymous interviewee, after a flood in India
What was the government response/ was there any governmental aid?
— Anonymous interviewee, after an earthquake in India 


 

Part II: Ideation

Step 1: Create personas
The three of us got together to discuss our research findings and brainstorm our users. From our guerilla research, we noticed how desperate people felt about the slow reaction from the government's side. We decided to draft two personas, one beneficiary from India, and one donor from the United States. 

shankar persona
paige persona

Persona 1: Kamala and Shankar Nath

Background:
Paige Stevens, age 26, lives in San Francisco. She attended UCLA and majored in CS and art. She took a gap year before college in Vietnam, where she taught English to kids. Currently, Paige makes $120K a year as a product manager at a tech company. She is bored at her current job and is currently applying to business school. She lives with her boyfriend, who also works in tech. They have a cat, Alfie.

Interests:
Paige likes to read, particularly nonfiction books. During her commute to work, she reads world news on her phone. During college, Paige developed a passion for social justice. She is not afraid to engage in conversations about social issues. On weekends, she likes to go hiking and exploring restaurants with friends. After meals, she likes to use Venmo to charge and pay her friends back.

Pain points:
She doesn’t trust giving her hard-earned money to relief organizations in developing countries, as she has heard that there is often corruption and a misuse of funds. Instead, she likes to donate money to help people she encounters in her own life. She likes to learn about someone’s story before she decides whether to help.

Persona 2: Paige Stevens

Background:
Paige Stevens, age 26, lives in San Francisco. She attended UCLA, where she majored in CS and art. She took a gap year before college in Vietnam, where she taught English to kids. Currently, Paige makes $120K a year as a product manager at a tech company. She is bored at her current job and is currently applying to business school. She lives with her boyfriend, who also works in tech. They have a cat, Alfie.

Pain points:
She doesn’t trust giving her hard-earned money to relief organizations in developing countries, as she has heard that there is often corruption and a misuse of funds.
Instead, she likes to donate money to help people she encounters in her own life. She likes to learn about someone’s story before she decides whether to help.

Interests:
Paige likes to read, particularly nonfiction books. During her commute to work, she reads world news on her phone. During college, Paige developed a passion for social justice. She is not afraid to engage in conversations about social issues.

On weekends, she likes to go hiking and exploring restaurants with friends. After meals, she likes to use Venmo to charge and pay her friends back.

 

Step 2: Generate scenarios
What would be a scenario of emergency our emergency focuses on? 

After each of us came up with 5-7 scenarios individually, we met to discuss what we found interesting about each other’s scenarios. (You will be able to find all 20 scenarios in our process book below at the end of this page.)

To start with, we were excited to see that our scenarios covered a variety of needs: education, transportation, medical, etc. We also noticed that we added details of social media verification to reduce the possibility of fraud.

By creating scenarios, we were able to dig into the realistic and human side of the interaction, which helped us think deeper about what our product could do or need to move forward.

We finally decided to focus on narratives that happen during natural disasters in developing countries, such as India.

 

Step 3: Develop storyboards
 

storyboards1.jpg

Persona 1: Shankar

We took turns to draw and write captions for the storyboard. In Shankar’s scenario, there is flooding caused by a cyclone, and the son subsequently becomes ill. The family, however, does not have enough money to put him on a cab to the hospital 20 miles away, and thus utilizes Sunbeam.

storyboards2.jpg

Persona 2: Paige

On the other side, Paige reads about the flooding in India while browsing the New York Times on a train to work. She wants to help but is skeptical about donating to large aid organizations. She then sees an ad about Sunbeam and begins the process.

After the sketches, our team digitalized the drawings so that we have more copies for the upcoming speed-dating tests.

d-storyboards`.jpg
dstoryboards2.jpg

 

 

Step 4: Speed-date storyboards

In Shankar's Scenario, what participants enjoy is that the scenario feels realistic and makes sense. And there is more that they want to see:

Legitimacy: would money go where it’s supposed to go? Is internet an issue?
Lots of people need help, so would the money come that fast?
Don’t know how even the distribution of funds would be or how efficient it would be to just browse profiles: maybe add a filter option (to filter by amount of money needed: ie I want to donate $10);
Is he actually using it for the intended purpose?
Everyone in need should get an even amount (Shankar could get more money than a family who has a more severe problem).
Would feel reassured that money went to Shankar if received some acknowledgement from Shankar’s family (in the form of pictures, messages).

In Paige's scenario, the participants enjoyed to see that people are skeptical of large organizations, which means this is a more trustworthy and feels more genuine in a way. They also mention that they could imagine themselves as Paige, who represents a lot more people who were not willing to donate. Here are more they'd like to see in the design: 

Has donated to websites, and wondered how much is actually going to the recipients/victims (rather than just funding the organization);
Would like to see direct impact: photos, messages from the family, even direct chat/Facetime;
Show statistics, percentage of money going to family; Would make it even more credible.
I can see people systematically exploiting this system;
I want to know what happens to the boy. Does he get well?
After the payment confirmation, I would encourage others to contribute to the cause as well.
I want to maintain a long-term connection to Shankar’s family. I want to follow up on how they are doing.
I want to know - who are the others that need help? What type of help do they need?
I would like to take ownership over a family and try to fulfill their entire set of needs following the emergency.
I want to be be convinced about the urgency of the situation, and also convince others to do the same.
I want to know what the government is doing to help.

We concluded the following overall concerns from the feedback above:

  • How do we prevent the misuse and exploitation of this service?

  • How do we convince donors of the authenticity of the beneficiary’s need?

  • How do we reduce bias and maximize equality in the requests?

We decided to explore these concerns in our prototype phase.

 

Part III: Prototype

Low-fi Screen Map

Based on the feedback we collected from speed-dating, we decided to add the following features to our product:

  • Social media verification
  • Contact between donor and beneficiary
  • Profile creation
  • Visual-based request creation

 

We created low-fi screen maps to map out all possible screens and select the most important ones to wireframe.

lowfiscreenmaps.jpg

We started with the mobile view of the welcome page and profile creation page, considering that our beneficiary persona would realistically only access our product on his phone.

 

High-fi Screen Map

highfiscreenmaps.jpg

 

Low-fi Wireframes

lowfiwireframes.jpg
wireframing.jpg

We started with the mobile view of the welcome page and profile creation page, considering that our beneficiary persona would realistically only access our product on his phone.

 

Peer Critique on Low-fi Wireframes

In a group of six, two teams got together and critiqued each other’s work. We received valuable feedback during this activity.

We discussed issues such as what would happen if one beneficiary needs to make multiple requests. We also explored how to make use of the existing functions on the phone: the camera and recorder for example. We discussed possibilities of using microphone to auto translate into text to tackle language barriers, and places to upload images and videos to provide evidence of needs. We also gained feedback on the usability of our design.

 

Hi-fidelity Screens

Mobile first
We started with mobile screen prototypes, considering that our users like Shankar will only request money on a mobile device, and users like Paige would most likely make a donation on a mobile device as well.

hi fi screens.jpg
interactive.jpg

We used inVision to demonstrate the interactions. You may check out the interactive prototype on inVision: https://projects.invisionapp.com/share/SKETJJ2CR#/screens

 

Hi-fidelity Screens - Mobile

1.jpg

See what’s happening in the world
The desktop and mobile versions of the website allow potential donors to scan the world map for current emergencies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
2.jpg

Avatars
Based on our speed-dating insights, using profile photos of a beneficiary could potentially create biases. For example, one person may have better photo-taking skills, which may give his profile an unfair advantage over others. However, we do want to keep the human touch that photos bring to amplify empathy.

After researching current practices and tools, we decided to design a feature where beneficiaries will be asked to take a photo, which will be processed through a program that turns the selfie into an avatar.

 
3.jpg

Requests
Donors are able to see details of a request, such as the type of natural disaster, the number of children in the family, the type and amount of each request made by that profile.

 
4.jpg

Filter requests
Potential donors are able to browse requests and filter them by type, amount, and geographical location.

High-fidelity Screens - Desktop

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 11.12.42 PM.png

Interactive prototype on my teammate's inVision account: https://projects.invisionapp.com//share/79EW3EZQT

 

Critique on High-fidelity Screens

Fine-tune the designs for amateur smartphone users
Based on feedback from the instructor and peers, we decided to continue fine-tuning the website to make it accessible to audiences who are not accustomed to using smartphones.

 

finetuning.jpg

Part IV: Present

pitch.jpg
thanks.jpg

Pitch on Dec 7
In our pitch, we discussed the current problems in the field of philanthropy, and how our peer-economy based product solves these issues.

 

Next Steps

Explore satellite internet
We want to research the reach of satellite internet, now and in the near future.

Avatar testing
We want to test the effectiveness of the avatars compared to pictures. We also want to try out different types of renders for the avatars.

Explore audio-based language translation
In order to make our website even more accessible across language barriers, we want to experiment with optimizing the localization capabilities, not just of the static content on the website but also the videos.

Identify developing areas of the world where this could be deployed and tested with real people
We want to deploy and test our website in developing countries to see if the product is able to add real value after an emergency.

 

 

THANK YOU!