The young victims of Violence Against Women (VAW) struggle to find a platform where they can share their experiences and seek help and support due to fears of stigma and lack of trust. The solution delivered a digital safe space where they can comfortably connect with other victims and service providers.
The focus of this proposed computing research project was to tackle this very important question: “How can we continue to use technology as aid in combatting violence against women?”
The name of the mobile app is Gracious Sisters. A ‘Gracious’ person is one who is courteous, kind-spirited, and caring especially towards someone or people in need of help. Girls and women are the main target user of this app hence why the word ‘Sisters’ was selected for the name of the app.
Gracious Sisters Slogan; Uniting and fighting violence against women because together we are stronger
Proposed Project Timeline/Process
WHAT WAS I TRYING TO ANSWER?
The main aim of the research was to shed light on the experiences faced by the victims of VAW and how we can continue to use technology as an aid in combatting this major social phenomenon.
The study results show that the majority of the victims and survivors of VAW usually seek help from appropriate authorities and agencies but there seems to be a lot of claims of inefficient or poor help or support received. This results in the victims having a major lack of trust and therefore never seeking help again due to fears of re-traumatizing.
of the participants were women between the ages of 25 and 34 years old.
of the women were either married, civil partnered, or cohabiting.
Religion / Beliefs
of the participants who were interviewed were religious & most of them were Muslims and Christians.
of the participants were from the Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee BAMER group background.
WHO IS THE USER?
Using the results gathered from the participants and without disclosing any personal information, the following user persona was created. The user persona shown below is of a fictional character that represents all of the different women who participated in the study
In order to stay focused and fulfil the needs and wants of the user (Jane Doe), the main issue needed to be properly communicated and understood. A brief yet clear description of the problems that needed to be solved in order to improve the UX of accessing VAW support.
The problem statement is framed from the user research point of view and it is based on the 4 Ws (Who, What, Where & Why).
USER JOURNEY MAP
This section digs deeper into understanding the experiences of seeking support from authorities and relevant organisations. In order to do this, the user journey map below was created. This allowed the researcher to visually see and represent the pain points faced by victims and survivors of VAW when trying to access information or help online. The journey map also demonstrates how the user, Jane Doe seeks for help and support online.
Jane Doe’s Journey Map
THE BRAND AND STYLE ELEMENTS
The information that was gathered from the conducted study were further synthesised and analysis is provided in a more graphical manner. Concepts that were ideated, tested, and iterated are demonstrated and style elements were presented.
THE ARCHITECTURE: APP MAP
An application map was created to strategize and visualise the architecture and hierarchy of the concepts on the Gracious Sisters app. This time-saving tool was beneficial because it allowed for the app to be well structured prior to the implementation stage.
Application User Flow – Gracious Sisters
MID & HIGH FIDELITY WIREFRAMES
To communicate and model the architecture and hierarchy of the application, mid-fidelity wireframes were created from the sketches. The mid-fidelity wireframing process allowed the researcher to create structure of the Gracious Sisters app without getting distracted by the design elements such as the theme colours, illustrations and photos.
The mid-fidelity wireframes shown below were then continuously iterated and further designed into high-fidelity wireframes.
APP USER FLOWS
The path or journey taken Gracious Sisters app by Jane Doe to complete a task or access from the entry is demonstrated in the following user flows.
Application Map – Gracious Sisters
GRACIOUS SISTER APP PROTOTYPE
A simulation prototype was created using Adobe XD in order to realistically demonstrate how the new Gracious Sisters application functions and how the users interact with it. Creating a sample prototype of the Gracious Sisters app was essential in testing the product and resolving any usability issues prior to the development stage of the final product.
This research project has explored the ways in which victims and survivors seek for help and support from service providers and the community. Nearly all of the participants of the study considered help, support and interventions from both the authorities and service providers to be highly necessary and important. However, most of them mentioned that the support they received could be improved upon especially the police interventions and support from the community.
While technology cannot end VAW, it is used as a tool to provide VAW related information, improve support systems and build better communication within the society. By employing a user-centred design approach, opportunities and solutions to the problems were co-created by understanding the pain points, needs and desires of the victims and survivors of VAW.
Hopefully this research has been able to contribute to the overall understanding on the tribulations and experiences of the victims and survivors of VAW. It is hoped that these pain points can be used to further formulate technological solutions that can contribute to better recovery and healing processes for them