Campus Safety

User research/ Interface Design


IU Safe is a mobile application designed to help students in the emergency situations like critical health issues, personal safety, theft etc. in and around the university campus. The application act as a communication bridge between students and security officers. Also, it educates users about safety procedure and resources on the campus. The application offers easy and simple interface considering the possibility of a user under a stressful situation.


User Research
Interface Interface Design


Indiana University
Group Project


2 UX Designer
2 Graphic Designer


3 Weeks
Sep'16 - Oct'16

Problem Statement

To design a preventive and reactive solution in order to make campus feel safer in emergency situations (i.e. late night, bad weather, health related issues etc.) for students on campus.

Design Process

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Artifacts and Findings

Field Observations / Stakeholder's Interview

Conducting observation study for safety issue was not an easy task. We did our best to observe the environments and venues around campus that make calls to safety concerns for our interviewees and personas. We spent time around campus (classroom buildings, centers and residence halls) both during the daytime and at night to see if anything could be gleaned from such observation. We interview college students and IUPUI police officers

Locked campus building in late night
Internal Setup of Campus Police Car
Internal Setup of Control Center

Key Findings


  • 1. Students feel safer when they see campus police around
  • 2. The smartphone is an important channel of communication.
  • 3. Students feel comfortable talking to the fellow students when involved in a hostile situation.
  • 4. Students are not aware of on campus safety resources like emergency call box, escort service etc.

  • Campus Police Officers

  • 1. Campus police have dispatch center and police cars are equipped with the laptop, mobiles and cameras.
  • 2. Patrolling officer relies on the Dispatch unit for the information like location and severity of the situation.
  • 3. Dispatch unit can’t locate caller unless caller informs explicitly

  • Competitive Analysis

  • 1. There are number of safety app but none of them is tailored to take advantage of local infrastructure
  • 2. Apart from sending the location or help message these applications do not offer any other features.
  • 3. The majority of applications were reactive in nature instead of proactive.
  • 4. The application we reviewed had overly complex user interface.

  • Brainstorming Problem Space



    Table Reservation Jane Doe
    20 Years
    IUPUI Student

    The Student

    “I had my phone ready to call 911. I was looking down and was not trying to draw attention”

    Table Reservation John Doe
    32 Years
    IUPUI Patrol Officer

    The Security Officer

    “We can’t be everywhere all the time” “Campus safety is everybody’s responsibility”


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    Top Ideas

  • 1. A location sharing and tracking mobile application
  • 2. A safety information and resource awareness application
  • 3. A wearable device which could monitor hear rate and send SOS signal to friends and family in case of emergency.

  • Storyboards

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    Problem Synthesis

    After analyzing the all research work and artifacts we settled on the minimum viable product (MVP) which would satisfy following requirements.


    The design solution should act as a communication bridge between students and security personnel. It should empower the student to quickly share location with friends, security personnel in case of emergency.


    The design solution should proactively inform the user about safety procedures, and alerts regarding possible hostile situations to boost safety awareness on campus.


    The design solution should promote and seamlessly integrate existing infrastructures and service like emergency call and escort service respectively.

    Design Solution

    The final solution is an amalgamation of the first (A location sharing and tracking app ) and second idea ( A Safety Information/Resource App), in favor of feasibility and opportunity to use existing resources on the campus. The wearable device solution was eliminated due to the cost involved on the user side, which could result in lower user adaptation.


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    Low-Fidelity Prototype

    Iteration of Interation

    Screen Flow

    The low fidelity prototype was subjected to user testing and cognitive walkthrough. We found that meaningful icons and labeling was required to make the application more intuitive.Also, notifications of escort service time and location sharing was important. Additionally, user's input on friends location backed design decision of having the location of friends on map

    Improvement through successive iteration

    Iteration of Interation

    Iterations of Landing screen

    The prototype evolved after each iteration improving user experience, interaction and visual design.

    High-Fidelity Prototype

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    After testing the prototype with the users, we realized that our solution very close to solving safety issue at the university campus. The simplicity user interface with easy to access feature like location sharing, SOS alert, and escort service received positive feedback. In future, this application can be integrated with heart rate monitor sensor, voice commands or a hardware key to activate the SOS alert.

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