When at sea on a cargo ship, seafarers need to be able to quickly and accurately report hazards and incidents so safety compliance is achieved. I set myself the task of creating a concept HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) app to manage the reporting of this information.
I have approached the task as if it were a real-world project, undertaking research to understand the business and user needs, mapping out the user journey, creating wireframes to document the process and so on. To keep the project focused on the business and user needs at all times I have followed the Design Thinking process.
Basic research established that this type of app falls under the banner of HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) Management. HSE software is designed to help individuals, businesses and organisations ensure standards compliance with established HSE protocols and guidelines. Common features of HSE apps are: checklists and forms for inspections, Geo-tagging for monitoring remote workers, HSE incident reporting on-the-go, insights and reports and so on.
Basic competitor analysis reveals the types of features and functionalities this kind of app/software should contain.
In a real-world situation I would conduct user research with a broad cross-section of the app’s potential user base. Information I would like to establish is:
Working to some assumptions, I created two typical user personas, outlining their needs, frustrations and specific use cases.
If more detailed user research were possible I would list and prioritise the problems the users face when currently reporting hazardous incidents. I would then list and prioritise potential solutions to the problems. Based on this data it would then be possible to define a problem statement(s) to provide focus for the project.
A typical problem statement for an app like this might be:
In order to help shape how the app should flow and function, I outlined the key user touch points. I then created a journey map, paying particular attention to the pain points and opportunities. Finally I mapped out the user flow to establish the app logic.
Bearing all the research, user data and problem statement in mind, I started to roughly sketch the app layout and flow. I then turned these sketches into a low fidelity wireframe prototype. The wireframes allowed me to explore the content and layout hierarchy in more detail.
In a real-world situation, user testing would be done on the low fidelity wireframe prototype. The objective of testing at this stage is to identify any problems or improvements before moving on to the final implementation phase. Once testing is complete, a high fidelity prototype can be designed. I performed my own basic testing and not everything in the wireframes found its way into the final designs as a result.
Establishing a design language is an important part of any digital project. I created a simple design system, consisting of colours and shadows, typography, buttons, inputs and icons. With these building blocks in place, I was able to move into the final design phase.
Circling back to the problem statement, I kept in mind the importance of making an app that would be quick and easy to use. I designed the key screens and created a simple working prototype.
Looking back at the project, there are a couple of things I would change or do differently:
To recap, I designed an incident reporting app for seafarers. The app had to be easy to use, and provide a quick and accurate way to submit reports. I believe I have created a strong solution to the problem. If this were a commercial project I am confident that users would be happy to use it on a daily basis.