We wanted to protect those who risk their lives for us.
Paramedics have an injury rate three times the national average. Out of those injuries, 37% of them come from patients. One paramedic had the following to say after responding to a routine call.
[the patient] went absolutely nuts- violent, kicking, swinging, punching, all over us… I was literally fighting for my and my partner’s safety.
For our team, it was clear that paramedics had dangerous jobs. To help, we designed Band Together, an app that allows EMTs to discretely communicate with their team in compromising situations.
For our last assignment in IxDF, we were split into separate teams and tasked with developing a mobile application for two personas, Roland and Sharon. Both personas were EMTs, but they represented opposite sides of the spectrum. Sharon was new to the job and was worried about work-life balance while Roland had been around the block for many years.
Through our research we learned much about the stresses EMTs went through on a daily basis. Workplace hazards are numerous and PTSD is typical, so we decided to develop an app that would help people like Roland and Sharon overcome stressful situations with ease.
Sharon has a strong desire to take care of people who are in dire circumstances. She believes that a positive encounter and helping hand from a public servant like herself can make a world of difference. On a personal level she wants to be role model for her daughter.
Roland and his wife are very proud of his career. The job title, uniform, and serious responsibility of being an ambulance driver/attendant have fulfilled their dreams and strengthened their marriage. They do not have children, so many evenings are spent by Roland sharing “on the job” stories with his wife over dinner. She is a wonderful cook and they both love to eat.
After receiving our personas, we performed extensive research on what the lives of paramedics were like in order to fully immerse ourselves into the lives of both Sharon and Roland. Through our research, we learned that EMTs often find themselves in dangerous situations and that they often develop PTSD from workplace stress.
We brainstormed a plethora of ideas, but after performing a cost-benefit analysis, we settled on Band Together, a wearable device that could easily and quickly alert teammates of potential dangers.
Once we settled on our idea, we proceeded to sketch out the most critical screens before iterating over the digital versions. We spent five iterations before we arrived at the final version of the application.
High-five your teammates to get started.
After high-fiving, the app will remember everyone in your group so that it knows who to alert in the future.
Push the button on your band to alert the others.
Pressing just one of the buttons will send a “warning” message, while pressing both buttons will send a “danger” message to your teammates.
Everyone on the team will get a notification.
The notification will make a high pitched alert and will tell the team that you are in trouble.
Your partners will be able to hear into the situation.
On the call screen your teammates can listen in through the microphone in your band and send you vibrations with the ping button.
When the situation is resolved the call is ended.
Ending a call is as easy as pressing the end call button and sliding right.
While designing the application, each of the five team members took an equal role in determining the direction of the design and where it ultimately headed. My main contributions can be seen on the right. Shoutouts to Amalya for coming up with the actual idea, Mu-Hwa for creating the high five image, and to Jim for providing expert visual design input.
Literature review of existing EMT blogs
First iteration of the high fidelity prototype
Colors throughout the application
Final placement of elements on the call screen
Quality control and adherence to iOS design guidelines