Robin Bahlenberg
UX designer

CHIRP

A Hyper Island Student Project

Brief

Chirp is a CONCEPT product; this entire project had the purpose of having us open our eyes to the possibilities of future, exponential technology in a field that would make a difference to the world. As a team, by randomly assembled UX designers, we took on perhaps one of the more complicated and ethically challenging UN goals: "Goal 5, Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls". From this, we narrowed the scope to one key area, domestic violence in Sweden during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Because of this loaded question, this instantly became something that became important to the entire team, but it left us with so many problems. How do we ensure that the one we're trying to help doesn't get caught and into even more trouble? How can we enable this to happen considering the laws of recording, ethical dilemmas, and how can we keep it as simple to use as ever. But most importantly, how can we ensure that the product user doesn't feel like they're alone and at increased risk.

"How might we help adult women in domestic relationships become empowered to leave abusive relationships, occurring in the home during Covid-19?"

Research

When approaching this project, we had a clear goal in mind: To make a difference. We were given two conditions to do this on; 1) The product should take advantage of exponential technology that is either not invented yet, or that we think will become a reality within the foreseeable future, and 2) create a solution for one of the UN goals. To get the information that we needed, data was gathered from a plethora of newspapers, testimonials from people who know someone in this position, and taking part in the national statistics of Sweden as a whole in recent times - before and during the pandemic alike.

“In 2019, there were approximately 22 300 sexual oriented crimes registered in Sweden, 95% targeted women”

- nck.uu.se

“Tech is a double-edged sword when it comes to domestic violence victims”

- weired.com

Design Approach

Creating something that would fit our use-case scenario is of the essence that the application is easy to use. It also has to be autonomous, inconspicuous, and connected to the smart devices within the household without getting noticed. With this in mind, we started to scatter the web and conducted several brainstorming sessions for how this could be created.

Shortly after the design search process started, it became evident to the team that this technology - much as the previously conducted research has stated - is very much indeed a double-edged sword. What happens if this data comes into the wrong hands? How is it legal to record people and share them with parties of interest without the person’s consent (i.e. the abuser)? How can it be present without the need to purchase yet another IoT device, and what happens if you’ve left your phone in a different room? The numbers kept piling up, and we quickly realised that this became a lot harder than we first anticipated.

That being said, the team felt passionate about the project, and we were all confident that this was something that really could make a significant difference; it was correctly executed. To make it intuitive enough, we looked around for inspiration. We immediately agreed on the Swedish money transfer service “Swish” for inspiration since it is quick, simple and once you’ve used it, you know everything you need to know. From there, sketches were created every minute until we were in the position of having a concept that made sense to us.

Experimental Technology
Design Solutions

As mentioned, the design solution evolved from a paper lo-fi sketching phase involving a plethora of sketches and low-fidelity prototypes consisting of essentially grey boxes and placeholders. From this, the purpose, pitfalls and opportunities of each element were examined to ensure that there was nothing in the prototype that could be considered redundant. Additionally, a light and dark mode version of the solution was also created that quickly became the team favourite, transforming every element of every screen - including the logo to match with a consistent design.

The design system was built in Figma, based on the sketches that were created during briefings and brainstorming sessions via the team Miro board. As a lead designer and an apprentice started on designing, the rest of the team continued with the research, as well as the presentation outline of things. In the end, by using this method of parallel work, the team could systematically cover all the areas required with high efficiency.

Outcome

The result of this project resulted in a high-fidelity fully prototyped product that was praised by our industry leader. This prototype was presented through a live walkthrough, a slow yet hard-hitting pitch video as well as a promotion for the “product” that affected everyone at the conference call. Since then, I have been in touch with other UX designers who are more oriented into the storytelling aspects and pitching and they have asked if this has been launched at any capacity yet since they would like to invest in it since it should‘ve been a thing already - which just goes to show that we’ve created a polished, very relevant and needed product. Lastly, I’ll leave a comment given to us by our industry leader Cyrus Clarke:

“This is a very clean , professional-looking prototype that tackles a very complex topic, the pitch video made me stop and think. The product you’ve created looks really professional, polished and real-world ready. Great job!”
- Cyrus Clarke, Module Industry Leader

Client

n/a

Agency

Hyper Island

Date

2021-03-11 - 2021-04-07

My Role

Conceptualisation

Lead designer

Product definition

Ethical Designer

Design values and standards

Design workflow management

Design Tools

Figma

Adobe After Effects

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Photoshop

Credits

UX TEAM

Robin Bahlenberg, Eiralin Brook, Alice Jurell, Oskar Svedin

RESEARCH

Eiralin Brook, Alice Jurell, Oskar Svedin

VIDEO

Eiralin Brook

PROTOTYPING, UI & ASSET LIBRARY

Robin Bahlenberg