My Role

UX Designer

Timeline

12 months

Team

6 members

THE PROBLEM

Disabled people are unable to participate in activism

Almost 19% of the US population is disabled that makes it 56.7 Million people. Most of the disabled people are often excluded from the in person activism. Activities such as marches, rallies and town hall meetings often introduce environmental social or physical accessibility barriers. They don’t feel that their voices are being heard in a democratic society, due to their health issues.

THE GOALS

To ensure that the voices of disabled people are heard in public activism

• To ensure that their voices are heard whether in the event or on social media.

• To remove barriers that stop them from being a part of policy making, especially the ones that involve them.

• To ensure that the disabled people reach safely to a public event.

THE SOLUTION

Actvirtual – A mobile app that enables disabled people to take part in public activism

In-person participation

Disabled people who want to be a part of a public march, can connect with fellow-marchers, form a bond and can ride along with them for the march. This system encourages them to be independent and not depend on family or friends to take them everywhere.

Virtual participation

For people who have disability related issues that do not allow them to move in public spaces, they can watch live marches and events and give their support to the cause through popular social media platform integrations like Facebook, and Twitter.

How it works?

Find & plan events

The apps displays featured and upcoming events/marches. Activist can directly decide to participate using the participate button.

Participate online & in-person

Based on the type of participation, the app guides the users with multiple options. using which the user can either attend the event or support the activism online.

Post to Twitter & Facebook using the app

Instead of going to multiple platforms like twitter and facebook, the user can directly post to social media accounts via the take action feature.

Watch events & connect using live feeds

The app features a watch live feature which can be accessed at any point during participation. Users can connect and send live feeds to support the live event.

UX RESEARCH

Design process

Semi structured phone interviews

We conducted semi-structured phone interviews with 20 respondents with disabilities who had participated in Disability March to better understand their motivation and involvement.

Virtual participation

• We chose in total 20 respondents who had physical disabilities, chronic health problems & mental illnesses.

• We tried to understand the pain points, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation behind their participation & their different ways of involvement.

Interview Questions

• What kinds of public activism do you participate?

• What is your motivation behind your participation?

• What kinds of external factors affect your participation?

• What is the after effect of the involved activism in your daily life?

• What is your experience with these public activisms?

Identity theory

• Identity theory explains social behaviors which result from the interplay between society and self-conception.

• We explored how individuals became a part of Disability March differently using this theory.

Ways people participate in activisms currently

To measure the extent of participation on social media platforms like Twitter, and Facebook, we manually scrapped about 150+ posts and conducted a categorical analysis to extract specific conclusions.

RESEARCH INSIGHTS

Identifying user needs

By going through our participant responses and contextual situations, I found significant user pain points on which I can work on to improve activist’s user experience.

Find Information – Users wanted to find information about various public activisms, accessibility information regarding ramps, restrooms, elevators, parking and directions to the event..

Support   People need a companion to attend a march together to get emotional support and assistance at the event.

Go Virtual – Respondents wanted to watch live march and connect with fellow activists on social media in real-time.

MIND MAPPING

Understanding user context & requirements

Based on all the gathered insights from the research, I created a mind map so that I get a bird’s eye view of the users and that could help me take better design decisions.

STORYBOARDING

Exploring different scenarios

Storyboarding helped me empathize user’s journey and scenarios. This brought me closer to the selecting right set of features for the solution.

JOURNEY MAPPING

User mapping & prioritization

IDEATION

Feature selection

We ideated potential solutions based on the research insights, storyboarding & mapping techniques.

Right information

Fetch the right information about the event once users plan to participate in the event.

Connect & Chat

Find fellow marchers & chat with them. By doing this, they can find companion who can assist them to an event.

Ride Along

Users can use this feature if they plan for an event along with other activists. Users can also host a ride to other activists.

Discussion thread

Users can ask a question or refer to a discussion thread to find answers to their questions regarding the event.

Watch live event

Disabled people can watch an event from their homes and enter live feeds to support the event.

SKETCHING

Information architecture

Strategizing the information architecture was a very crucial phase because I had to be careful about all the elements I needed to add with the app. I sketched out a rough information architecture to make every single task prominent to the user.

 

 

LOW FIDELITY PROTOTYPE

Design decisions

Going forward, I integrated all the shortlisted features and structured the user interaction within a lightweight app UI.

 

 

  • Subsidized for existing users
  •  Tv & online advertisements
  • Sales representatives

USER TESTING

Testing for accessibility

We conducted initial user testing with disabled people who worked at Indiana disability rights. Although we addressed all the features and interactions, our users pointed out specific valuable insights about the prototype. 

HIGH FIDELITY PROTOTYPE

Visual exploration

Using the feedbacks we received from our user testing sessions, we designed a high fidelity prototype of the app. 

User login & signup

Users can board the app by signing up or using their twitter & facebook accounts. Users preferred using their social media accounts to sign up and upload tweets and facebook posts directly within the app.

 

Welcome Screen

Sign up Screen

Login Screen

Profile customization

As for the people with visual impairments, we added a dark mode to the app. A user can go to profile section within the app and select dark mode.

 

Profile customization

Sign up Screen

Darkmode selected

Event information and Participation

Event page contains a list of upcoming events. Users can now bookmark & plan for the events in advance to make necessary arrangements and decide whether they want to attend the event or participate online. Participation dashboard can help user to clear define their goals whether to attend the march or participate online.

 

List of events

Event information

Event participation screen

Watch live events

Users can participate virtually in public marches and activisms by watching the live broadcast of any events. People who attend events can also record live video clips and upload them to the app for offline viewing.

List of events

Watch live event

Uploaded clips of the events

Post live feeds & support activism

While watching the event, users can support the activism by posting images, tweets and facebook posts right from the take action page.

Live feeds during live event

Post to twitter & facebook

Uploaded clips of the events

Ride along and Connect

I designed a dashboard to help the users find a ride, connect with other users and an FAQ section to address all the concerns users have with event participation.

• Users can now carpool to an event by either hosting a ride to fellow marchers or find a ride for themselves. This way they also find a companion for themselves.
• Connect feature can be used by the user to chat with other marchers who are attending the same event. I wanted to give users some space of their own for asking someone to represent them at the event.
• The discussion thread is a forum where all the users can find answers to their needs and concerns related to disability arrangements.

Enter details to find a ride

Selecting the ride

List of participating users

Chat with a user

Discussion thread

List of participating users

CONCLUSION

Learning & takeaways

I learned that, in a design process we tend to forget some of the most important elements such as accessibility. Whether we design for people with disabilities or not, we should always take into consideration that at some point in time, the design will be encountered by people with disability and impairments. So taking a universal approach is the best way to overcome design challenges and solve real world problems.

More Projects

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IUPUI One-Spot Kiosk

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GE IoT Refrigerator

Designed a smart home IOT refrigerator for shared spaces along with its connected app.

Eskenazi Health Foundation

Coming Soon…

Get in touch

To know more about my work, feel free to drop me an email. Looking forward to hearing from you.