The Webby for Good, produced in partnership with WP Engine, is a showcase of Webby-honored projects and campaigns that are promoting social good in the world.
Describe your project. What is it, what was the elevator pitch?
REALRIDER® is an online community for motorcyclists with built-in REALsafe® crash detection technology and is the first app to be 999 certified. The idea for the app was pioneered following information from Great North Air Ambulance that indicated a problem between motorcycle crashes and rescue. Finding riders within “the golden hour” is imperative to boost survival chances, but most accidents happen on rural roads where a rider is solo at the point of crash. We were approached by REALRIDER® to completely redesign version 1.0 of the app to make a more enjoyable user experience, and to more strongly incorporate the popular and life-saving component of REALsafe®, which uses built-in motion sensors of smartphones to detect crashes and inactivity.
What key challenges did you face with this project? And how did you overcome them?
Our lead designer on the project, Paul Bingham, said the initial challenge was knowing where to start in the redesign of the app. Our client had a lot of ideas about the project, but no evidence of what would work in relation to their actual users. The first thing we did was initiate user testing where users would use the app and leave their reviews on things they would like to have differently, or how they would prefer to use the app. This gave us a direct indication and list of features of what our users actually wanted from the app. We took requirements and the expectations of the user group, we put that with the business direction of realrider and their goals, and tailormade a user interface and design that fit with both needs.
What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project?
It is genuinely solving a problem that exists. You know it’s solving a problem because it’s saving lives. The key reason you want people to use it is to be safe. The key reason is to save the lives of motorcycle riders.
Why this particular cause as the subject of your project/campaign?
The co-owners of Realsafe Technologies and Realrider are motorcycle riders themselves. They know the dangers associated with riding motorcycles and crashes in rural areas. Quite often a rider can be solo at the point of crash, not only away from a group, but also separated from their motorcycle. What a rider usually does have is their smartphone. In tapping into the motion sensors in smartphones, the team at Realrider constructed technology to be able to detect when a rider crashed. When this happens, the app sends a rider’s pre-saved information to emergency services. It even sends information such as blood type, as well as their location and details. The cause behind the project is to save more lives. If a rider who crashes has this technology activated, more [time] can be spent on their medical assistance over looking for their location.
When working on this project, what were some of the most important conversations you had with your team?
The most important conversation our designer Paul had with the team was that the life saving crash detection feature needed to be more accessible. In version 1 it just didn’t work, people couldn’t access the safety feature, it was hidden away…. Paul had a conversation with team to show how imperative it was to make this feature more prominent, and incorporate user profiles so bike information can be stored. So the app is not just a safety tool, but also a social network for bike riding communities.
What did you learn from working on this project that you didn't know going into it? Did anything come out of it that surprised you, or that you weren't expecting?
The size of it. It wasn’t just an app, it was a marketing site, the web app, and the commercial admin side of it for businesses... These all had our design involved. The whole social network side of it, the user experience of this... this was something new to us. This vast variation in user groups made making sure their needs were ticked quite a feat, and a learning curve, but something we managed. Paul knew how good a project this one because of the interest generated even with a failing system in version 1. In better executing it and through excellent marketing, it’s gained international success and that is very humbling.
Only User Interface Judged. Mobile sites or apps, that set an industry standard of excellence with its user interface design.