Copyright © 2020 Cheyenne Ismailciuc

Pen & Paper, Illustrator, Figma

Zara Abraham, Gaby Chan

Product Designer

September 16 - September 20, 2019 (1 Week)

A resource for the female, resident population of University District in Seattle to view, mark, and rely on pinpointed safe zones validated by crowd-sourced information.







Knowing the main pain point as safety concerns, my team and I worked through the design process to address this common issue.



"Hey, Cheyenne, the University District can often make residents, especially female residents, feel unsafe in their community. How can we use crowd-sourced data to help us alleviate residents' perceived safety?"

Many women living in Seattle's University District feel unsafe when unfamiliar with their surroundings and the happenings of the community. Marked as a general "hotspot" for potential crimes, residents are unsure of which locations are safe or well-familiarized. 


When conducting formative research, we gathered a variety of data from interviews, statistics and academic writings to understand safety and how people perceive safety within the University District area. From the research, we concluded several key insights that continued to drive our project scope forward.


Primary Research

Secondary Research

Resident Interviews

Computer Supported Collaborative Work

Public Safety Statistics

Online Forums


Safety correlates with the fear of crime

Predominantly a female issue

10% rise in crime in Seattle

Safety based on unconscious bias

U-District is a "hotspot"

Residents sharing on /r/udub Reddit 


After conducting several initial interviews, we began to understand our user group and their goals regarding safety within U-District.


NikeetaRecent Grad and University-District Resident

Attributes            Enjoys running on the Burke-Gilman Trail, 

Uses the busing system to ride to and from work

Goal                   Wants to walk safely from the bus stop to home

Pain Points        Fears being harmed in some way during her commute

Sandra, University Student and U-District Resident

Attributes            Volunteers off-campus, 

Enjoys eating on "the Ave"

Goal                  Wants to avoid unsafe areas around campus

Pain Points         Certain streets and routes are unfamiliar



From the data we gathered, we ideated several concepts to motivate users to share and validate safety information.


Users earn points by marking, validating and walking along the safest routes their destination, avoiding unsafe areas and potential dangers.

Users give a detailed account of the incident and share this information with other users. In turn, residents have the opportunity to validate the incident and offer support.



Users create profiles for the homeless community so they may destigmatize past biases and remove the fear of unfamiliar people.

From these concepts, we figured the best option would be to merge the first and second concepts into one application. The ideas would utilize clear data translation, address a timely need, and would be easy to use based on maps. The third idea was not pursued for several reasons, more specifically because it is a huge privacy and marginalizing concern. Moving forward on the collaborated concept, we then began creating a simplified journey for users to engage in a safe commute. 


We continued by scoping our concept further and developed the first iteration of our application, roughly illustrating the user journey.


Main Use-Case Flow

Data Capture Flow


Testing our rudimentary prototype, we heard many critiques from our participants. We found how their inputs required us to reassess the design experience to better respond to the challenge. 

Usability Testing

Some participants were confused by what were "Safe Zones" and how they were determined.

Some participants found the process of submitting responses very drawn out. 



By allowing U-District's women to easily share and rate safe areas while providing them quick accessibility to first responders, they will have the capability to improve their overall perceive safety within the community.  

Endorse Safe Areas


Quick Emergency Calls

During this project, the goal was to help facilitate a safer commute home for women, edging towards making the community a safer space. The project allowed me to work with a group to cultivate numerous ideas on how to successfully achieve this goal.

Throughout this project, I gained valuable skills that have propelled my persistence to create engaging, intuitive designs. Researching the topic, I began to understand my community here at University District and about residents' perceived safety in this area. From there my team formulated insights that helped us develop concepts to tackle the challenge. Merging the ideas of the safest routes and user feedback, we tested our prototype to achieve our final design. Being only a week-long sprint, our team materialized a product that could be a great benefit to the University District community.

Upon reflecting, our project could be improved by several factors: first, utilizing more time to conduct research that would have better specified the needs; second, storyboarding the user journey may have helped in discovering the various pain points we could have missed; third, facilitating further usability tests with our updated prototype. Although, I feel my team had a successful outcome.

One thing I wish we considered is the implications this app would have in underprivileged communities and small businesses within those communities. Knowing this as a negative repercussion would have made us more mindful of our overall design challenge. For upcoming projects, I plan to mindful of other stakeholders and the consequences that may arise when designing a new product. 


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