Seattle is defined by its myriad neighborhoods, but for residents and people considering moving to those neighborhoods, they want to make sure the area is safe. Know My Block organizes data from the Seattle API Crime Database into a neighborhood-specific snapshot so residents have a better understanding of where they live.
Given the time constraints of the 24-hour sprint, our team took a divide and conquer approach. On the UX side, we made an educated guess about the type of user who would be likely to use this app. We developed a proto-persona named Stephanie, Stephanie’s user scenario and an emotional journey map of Stephanie’s struggle to find information about Seattle neighborhoods.
On the Developer side, Joe and Ivar researched what data was available, how they could go about getting it and how to ensure that the data pulled would be the most current and relevant information for Stephanie’s needs.
Despite the lack of real-data, we felt we needed to create a proto-persona in order to give a context to our design decisions. It’s far easier to design for someone , rather than just design for anyone.
Our initial plan included a wide-variety of information that Stephanie would need to make a decision on where to move (including school information and points of interest), however given that Stephanie’s number one concern was her children’s safety and the limitations of our 24-hour sprint, our MVP focused on the neighborhood crime data.
While the Developers went to work writing the code, we UX designers went to work sketching and wireframing the app. We did an initial design studio to get the ideas flowing, and flushed out the basic interactions that Stephanie would need.
In the midnight hours, I went home to rapidly prototype our app based on the sketches we’d developed that evening.
What We Discovered
Halfway through the sprint, we realized that while we wanted to build an app, a desktop application would be far better suited to Stephanie’s needs. She would more likely be sitting at a computer to research the neighborhood, likely taking notes, rather than flipping through her phone. We canabalized what design elements we could and pivoted to an entirely web-based platform.