Empowering colleges students with the tools to overcome sexual egos and live healthier, safer lives
November 2017 - Ongoing
College students who feel overwhelmed when it comes to sexual health
Understand user needs developing tools to alleviate pain points
User Research, Persona Development, Design Thinking
Since this project is ongoing learn about where I currently am and how I got here.
1 out of 4
college students contract an STI
1 out of 4
Today, sexual health and safety are like a dark cloud over the college experience.
While there are resources to support students through their recovery, there are ultimately no prevention methods in place.
female college students are sexually assaulted
1 out of 20
male college students
are sexually assaulted
My goal is to use design thinking to develop tools that will empower college students to develop a more proactive relationship with their sexual health and lives.
I wondered if this meant that college students need a way to add their personal support systems into the solution. These personal networks are the best tool they have.
"When someone is making me feel uncomfortable and unsafe at a party, I just hope that one of my friends walks by so that they can distract the person and help me escape the situation."
During my time working with CMC Advocates, I have had over a year of experience working with directly to educate students on sexual health, aiding survivors of sexual assault, and helping students understand their health after contracting a life-long STI.
With their permission, I interviewed 10 of those students to uncover any key insights that could shape my design.
Hover to discover the key insights I used to shape my design :)
I wondered if this meant that college students have conflated sex with identity. Emotions around their identity blinds students the frequency and reality of STI's.
"There's no way anyone that I have been with has ever had an STI. I would just know, you know?"
I wondered how information can be presented and shared in a manner to be stigma free.
"I am positive for Herpes and I have no idea how to practice safe sex. I also have no idea how my future partner will react when I disclose my status. A lot of people have so much stigma against it. They do not know how common it really is."
From this I developed user personas which would help me narrow down the specific user pain points that I needed to design solutions for.
Exploratory college student who is still forming their sexual identity. As a result, their journey when accessing sexual health information tends to be covered with potholes of emotions, hindering them from getting the information they need
Social, outgoing, and eager college student needs to be able to access their friends quickly because them saying "no" does not matter to a predator and the most successful prevention method they have is the support of their friends
Prototype includes three main components. Click on the arrows to see all three parts.
Getting out of a dangerous situation is now as easy as calling an Uber
Users upload a list of contacts to the app
When they feel like they or someone else in is danger or are being sexually harassed they can click the alert button
Mass text and their location will be sent to everyone on created contact list
I interviewed 20 college students.
Students were interested in the "Sexpert" and "Alert System", however, many did not see themselves using the "Activity Log".
7/9 masculine identifying male students that were interviewed described the overall interface as a feminine or "bit too girly" for their taste.
One student mentioned that if a student were to want to press the alert button, then they would need to open up the app.
However, if the person making them uncomfortable is close to the student, they could see the student opening up the app and thus, students may find it too dangerous in that situation to use the button.
Prototype includes three main changes.
1. Activity Log was removed
2. Alert System was redesigned:
Redesign allows user to send an alert secretly.
Students can now go onto the app and turn on "Alert Mode" before going out.
When alert mode is on, students will receive a link. If the student goes out and feels like they are in danger, all they have to do is open up their messages app and hit the link.
wireframe explorations for the homepage
3. Interface redesigned:
Gender schemas associate lighter color with feminine aesthetics.
As a result, I opted for more gender neutral colors for the redesign while still maintaining the light "peach" branding.
I also was interested in making the experience a bit more fun. One of the biggest insights was that college students' feelings around personal identity/ego are the main source of friction when accessing and discussing sexual health information. So, I wanted this redesign to feel more fun and lay-back. This way users do not feel overwhelmed and care ease their way into the experience.
visual adjustment when alert mode is on
I am developing our MVP (the alert system) with my engineering team as well as brainstorming new and more impactful tools to include.