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Plurl

Plurl is a personal safety app for school campuses. The app maps human traffic to enable users to take busy routes since most campus crimes occur in isolated areas.

The Challenge

As a York University student, my colleagues and I receive numerous concerning news bulletins. Once the sun sets, it only becomes more difficult to go around campus. Some areas are poorly lit and there's often no traffic or bystanders that can come to aid if an incident occurs.

Tools

Sketch, Invision, Origami, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator




Since it's difficult to make decisions under distress, the objective was to create the app with minimal and resourceful options.

Preferences

Preferences allow users to change appearance of the app for accessibility purposes. Notifications notify users if they are entering a low traffic area when they don't have the app open to view the map first-hand.

Add Friends
The friends the user adds will be the people that receive the SOS message when SOS is tapped. The friends don't have to have Plurl installed to receive a text message with the user's coordinates.
Request Gosafe
GoSafe service at York University gives students an option to be escorted from point A to B. If the user is uncomfortable with the traffic flow on the present map, the service can provide further assistance.

Send an SOS text

When SOS is tapped, a 30-second timer starts, which also gives time to cancel the signal. Texts are then sent to security and/or friends or the user can tap "Send Location" immediately. To make the feature more accessible, SOS can also be accessed from the iPhone widget.

Plurl can help bring down the crime rate on campuses. Which will not only create a safer environment for students and staff but also elevate the school’s reputation. Existing personal safety apps depend on being able to call security or a friend in time so that an occurrence can be handled by a professional or friends. Even then, this feature is already built-in in smartphones. Plurl focuses on the avoiding aspect rather than providing ways to communicate when an incident has occurred. View Invision prototype.



Process

Defining the question, researching safety on campuses, analyzing existing personal safety apps, defining the goals, ideating various solutions, visual research, creating low and then high-fidelity wireframes, and prototyping played important roles in creating Plurl. Iterations, prototyping, and user testing were repeated to refine the app.