HERD
Mobilising communities in a time of crisis
DATE
2020 - Present
TEAM & ROLE 
2020 - Present
COMPETITION
Winner of Ford Smart Mobility Fund
INTRODUCTION
Herd Network is a service that helps people maintain their mobility in times of crisis. It connects those in need to other members of their community who can provide help and resources.

Users in need simply send out a ‘flare’ from their mobile device, and those who can help, respond to these flares, enabling the natural instinct we have to help one another in time of crisis.
How might we give people greater access to mobility in a time of crisis?
MVP Design - On iOS App Store
SEND FLARES WHEN IN NEED OF HELP
ACT ON FLARES TO SUPPORT THOSE IN NEED
MVP Design - On iOS App Store
PROBLEM & 
OPPORTUNITY
INSPIRATION
We were intrigued by repeated patterns of community enhanced mobility during a crisis. This was evident in a number of events such as the 15/16 UK floods, the Paris attacks, and even the Covid-19 Pandemic.

From the offset it felt appropriate to explore crises in response to a mobility brief. They can greately reduce access to basic products and services and in some cases even require evacuation. Moving forward we set out to deepen our understanding on the impacts a crisis can have on mobility.
FLOODING AS A CASE STUDY
5 million properties in the UK are at risk of flooding each year, with climate models predicting a drastic increase by 2100.
Many “at risk” communities maintain a state of denial and choose to ignore the warnings.
Less than 50% of 18-34 year olds know what to do in a flood.
Many people do not leave their homes when recommended. Often those who do stay regret their decision in hindsight.
Damaged infrastructure and loss of utilities cut people off from the products and services they need to live. Those who failed to prepare adequately can end up suffering as a result.
“Flooding is no longer approached as a preventable issue, but as something to be lived through”
CONCEPT IDEATION
HOW MIGHT WE

HMW’s were produced with a focus on changing behaviour. Using affinity mapping we grouped them into our core design problems.
  • How might we utilise the power of the community?
  • How might we get people to do the action right for them?
  • How might we ensure people have the right mindset?
  • How might we use physical and data infrastructures to benefit users?
KEY IDEAS
THE GOLDEN MOMENT
The period of time where self help is most crucial
  • Use real time data to warn users
  • Recommend actions in line with a flood timeline
  • Present new options for mobility as the flood evolves
SENDING A FLARE
A rapid request for assistance
  • Allows users to communicate their individual needs to the wider community
  • Facilitate immediate response based upon priority
RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION
Improving the mobility of necessary items.
  • Maintain a database of local resource information
  • Build a request based system
  • Establish supply chains optimised for flooding conditions
PERSONALISED INFORMATION
Motivating people through data that matters to them

Relay information in a way that focusses on personal impact

Remove inaction due to not knowing what to do
LOCAL COUNTY COUNCILS & RESILIENCE NETWORKS
Our ideas were well recieved by our local resilience network (LLR Prepared) who assured us our goals were in line with government targets. There is even funding available for communities to improve their resilience to flooding, “The problem is that most of them don’t know what to spend it on.”
VALIDATION OF IDEAS
PAST EXPERIENCES (INTERVIEWS & SECONDARY RESEARCH) 
A common theme throughout our research into flooding and conversations with victims was that communities always jumped at the chance to rally together and help each other.
"I had to hold on to a couple of teenage boys to avoid being swept away by the great force of the water"
EXISTING MARKET SOLUTIONS
During a crisis, communities often find products and services through which they can help each other, be that a slip of paper through the letterbox or a post in a Facebook group.
INTUITION OVER FLUENCY
This service is likely to be used most often by people new to it or who haven’t used it in a while, so the design should cater to beginners rather than power users.

Ways to implement
  • Actions are discoverable
  • Fewer interactions
  • Transferable mental models
  • Scalable metaphors
DESIGN 
PRINCIPLES
MOMENTUM, NOT THOUGHT
Inaction is the primary enemy here, so the interface must make action as simple and easy as possible.

Ways to implement
  • Always suggest
  • Flare everywhere
  • Don't overwhelm
  • Remove action friction
  • Build habits
SOCIAL OVER PERSONAL
Primarily being a social service, the user must be encouraged to act in a social way.

Ways to implement
  • Reinforce social choices
  • Encourage sharing
  • Maintain internal social rewards (Such as feeling pride by publicly volunteering).
AVOIDABLE RISK TO MOBILITY IS PREDICTED. PRODUCT GUIDES USER ACTIONS.
This service is likely to be used most often by people new to it or who haven’t used it in a while, so the design should cater to beginners rather than power users.

Ways to implement
SCENARIO DEVELOPMENT
USER LACKS A RESOURCE, PRODUCT HELPS COMMUNICATE NEED TO WIDER COMMUNITY
This journey pieces together how a user could alert the community to their need, and how the product can maintain their mental state as they wait. In the instance of the flare receiving no response, further options are explored.
USER WANTS TO HELP, PRODUCT ENABLES THIS
In this journey those who want to help are encouraged to identify the ways in which they may be able to and add them into a database. From this point the product uses an algorithm to match those who want to help with those in need.
UI DEVELOPMENT
THE HOME SCREEN
This page focuses on giving users the tools to best help themselves in a crisis. Whether its recieving warnings, tasks to minimise their risk, sending & managing flares, or getting help from initiatives.
  • Visual design refinement
  • Information Heirarchy
  • Dedicated space for Actions, Alerts & Flares
  • Added 'Initiatives' to enable users to proactively give help
  • Added 'Featured Flares'
  • Added 'Community Articles'
  • Added categories to improve discoverability
  • Limiting number of flares per user to 3 (to avoid abuse)
  • Refined visual design
  • Introduction of a 'Flare drawer' - that visually represents the available flares a user has left.
  • Further design refinement based on feedback
  • Improved search & filtering interaction
  • New "Community" page that combines both volunteers & flares.
  • Addition of "Featured" / "Trending" items
  • Addition of "Group Tasks" for flares that require multiple volunteers.
  • Shifting from 'Personal / Community' -> 'Get Help / Give Help'
  • Expansion of featured content to articles
  • Addition of filters for improved discovereability
  • Greater emphasis on active flares
  • Global search bar
  • Map view to give overview of local geography
MONITORING FLARES
A space for users to ‘Give Help’ by monitoring & acting on flares sent in their community.
  • Character limit to ensure clear messaging
  • Automatic keyword extraction & tagging
  • Ability to select urgency & range
  • Component re-design for Swift-UI
  • Visual design refinement
  • Slide to send interaction
  • Adding 'Flare' title
  • Removed range
  • Introduce card to explain service is not replacement of emergency services.
SENDING A FLARE
The ‘trigger’ to sending out a flare when in need.
THE FLARE CARD
A preview of the sent flare for users to read and act on.
This is some text inside of a div block.
Simplified visual design & attempt to communicate category through colour
Realising the importance of the flare itself is the message. Thus we increased its prominence and decreased the heirarchy of category & location info.Introduced the idea of significantly limiting character count to 50.
Further simplifying the visuals. Exploring a lighter font thickness & introducing ‘time sent’
Remmoval of colour as a communicator as we felt it was hard for users to associate colour with unfamiliar categories, as well as it overwhelming the list view.
Settling for the most minimal but balanced option that can be comfortably presented in a list view on multiple devices.
CTA ARCHITECTURE
CTA ARCHITECTURE
CURRENT PUBLIC RELEASE
FLARE
A call for help.
V2
INITIATIVE
A way for people to proactively volunteer their help.
V3
COMMUNITY STORY
Featured articles written by community leaders
V3
BROADCAST
Push notifications by Herd & Community Leaders
OTHER PROJECTS
Case
Case envisions the future of luggage and how luggage might evolve to become something that travels separately from its owner. Streamlining the travel experience, reducing stress, whilst also minimizing costly infrastructure. The Case is provided to you as part of an on-demand service whereby it will be delivered from your home to your destination ahead of the traveler, replacing the need to own and travel with luggage.
Final Year University Project
A speculative design project aimed at envisioning what the future of democracy could look like in the digital age.
Uni Project
LoudVoices