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Sabrina Chuang


Figma, Miro, Adobe After Effect


User Research, Product Thinking, Visual Design, Prototype Design


Support users transit smoothly back to normalcy after an earthquake
5 Day Design Sprint | Feb 2021  


Together We are Stronger. 

Quakely is a mobile app that guides users safely to shelter after the earthquake and builds a community to provide resources for those needed. 


Problem: Large scale earthquake normally leads to weeks of evacuation and millions of residence become homeless. Users are scare and uncertain during this period of time and will need some guidance on the next step. 

Goal: To comfort users and ease users' stress on the transition back to normalcy after earthquake happen. 

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How might we guide the general public efficiently to the shelter and provide them resources to transit smoothly back to normalcy?

Shelter Resources

  •  Shelter's information like room capacity and provided resources

  • Warning if the shelter is already full 

  • Direction to that shelter with an estimated time.


Friend's Update 

  • Friend's safety update in different color symbol 

  • Friend's location  


Earthquake News

  • Real-Time earthquake news update by the community 


Build Community 

  •  Post and reply help request to the community 

  • Reserve resources from the local shelters with QR code confirmation 

  • Donate to earthquake charity to help the community 

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Provide Urgent Help

  • Send help to people near you 

  • See what they need help with before accept the request


Receive Urgent Help

  •  Send help request to the public near you or just to friends

  • Check helper's update and location 

Why is this important?

"USGS scenarios project more than 1,800 deaths, and 50,000 injuries due to a major Southern San Andreas fault earthquake. CoreLogic, a business analysis service, estimated a Southern San Andreas fault rupture will cause 3.5 million homes to be at risk with $289 billion in reconstruction value."(California Earthquake Authority )

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Potential User Group 

I start brainstorming different user groups that might be affected by the earthquake. Besides the general public, It could be firefighters, medical centers, and emergency centers that need help coordinate rescue plans. However, due to the time frame I have, I think finding users in the general public is easier than reaching out to professionals.

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There are a lot of aspect to consider on what are some potential user needs. It could be information about shelter, news about earthquake, friend’s and family’s safety update, instruction on housing etc. Therefore, in order to really find out what is most important needs among those and the potential MVP feature of the app, I need to conduct a user research  and schedule interview to identify user needs better. 

User Research 
Identifying Top Concern in Earthquake 

To understand how people feel and react to the earthquake, I  conducted a survey with users ages 13-70, and three  in-depth interviews. I received a total of 15 responses that gave insights into their thoughts on earthquake and the evacuation process. 

  • 5 Teenagers

  • 13 Young Adults

  • 3 Middle Age Adults

  • 2 Senior Citizens

  • 85% of users believe the uncontrollable crowd will be the main issue in evacuation

  • 52% of users believe that the exit route to the shelter is the most important information after an earthquake.

  • 44% of users top concern is their loved one's safety

  • 20% of users top concern is their next step and housing problem

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"After an earthquake, I will panic about my next step. Whether I should stay in the same place, leave the building, go to a shelter, or go find my parents. I just don't know what to do"  

- 22 y.o Female

"I am most scared if the earthquake happens when I am alone without my parent " 

- 13 y.o. Male

"I am most concern about the housing. Where should I live if my house collapse? What about all my property?" 

- 45 y.o. Male

Primary Research

“I think the biggest problem in evacuation is that it’s really hard to control the right amount of people into emergency shelter based on the capacity size. It is very likely we will have a shelter that is overcrowded with people and another shelter with not many people”

                                                                                                              —Joseph, Current firefighter in Taipei 

Interviewing the Firefighter 

To best secure users safety and have an effective evacuation, it is very important that we take the location into consideration. For example, users live near the beach will have different things to pay extra attention with users live on the hill. Also, most of people didn't know the potential danger of pipe explosion and fire caused by the earthquake.  It is very important that people are educate on these knowledge about the earthquake. 


"Most people are terrified by the earthquake and unable to follow our guide properly. For example, sometimes people refuse to leave the building until they see all their family come out."

Biggest Challenge in Rescue will be : 

  1. Unable to identify the exact location of a survivor

  2. Unable to know their health condition

Interviewing the Survivor

“After I follow the crowd to the shelter I realize that the shelter is overpacked with not much supplies left. ”

                                                       —Jessica Chen, 25 y.o in Hualien, Taiwan (Been through a 7.1 earthquake in 2006)

"The most challenging part must be the reconstruction work afterward. Thankfully my building didn't collapse completely, but I still need a lot of money to repair the furniture and the floor. However, my neighbors are all very kind. I am so thankful for all their help. I can't imagine doing this all by myself"  


Biggest Challenge After Earthquake will be : 

  1. Economic Loss in the earthquake

  2. Over crowded shelter

  3. Hard to find resources

User Personas
Who Are the Potential Users?
User Personas
User Journey Map
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Pinpoint user’s emotion and action in the different stage after earthquake to come up with the user goal and need during each stage

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Melissa is a mom of a daughter in elementary school. She is not with her kid when the 8.5 earthquake happens. She is terrified and very worried about her family. Thankfully, she has an app that shows her daughter's location and safety status. Using the app, Melissa successfully meets with her daughter.

Competitve Analysis 
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MVP Features

1. Exit Routes to the shelter with information like
room capacity and provided resources

2. Quick safety status update and easily sharing location  to the Love Ones 

3. Build an Earthquake Community for instant earthquake news, providing and receiving help   

Design Trade Offs
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Brainstorming what are some design trade-offs in the key features. 
Tried to come up with a solution that lands somewhere near the top right corner with high discoverability and high privacy 

Information Architecture
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User Testing with Lo-fi

Quantitative approach with Direct Observation

Goal: To test the usability and efficiency of prototypes and pinpoint any shortcoming


Have 5 participants complete several tasks with Lo-Fi Prototype


😊😊😊😊😊   5/5 users can locate shelter and guide to it 

😊😊😊😊😊   5/5 users are able to identify other users that need help and what they need help with

😊😊😊😊😊   5/5 users succeed in Requesting help

😊😊😊😊😊   5/5 users checking friend's safety status

😊😊😊😊😊   5/5 users succeed in reading earthquake news


❌❌❌❌      4/5 users didn't notice the Shelter's information about room population and supplies 

❌❌              2/5 users didn't discover Notification 

❌                   1/5 user didn't know how to Reserve supplies

❌                   1/5 user didn't know how to write a post in Earthquake Information

Key Insights
  1. Users will like to know the estimated time to the guided location 

  2. Users are concerned about sharing their Need Help Update to the stranger 

  3. Users will like to have a confirmation or reminder after reserving the supplies

Redesign Based on User Testing Results
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1. Melissa, mom of two kids

  • need to know her family's location during earthquake

  • need to know her family's condition 

Success Measurement
Second User Testing

Quantitative approach with Direct Observation


  1. To see whether the design can speak on its own

  2. To test whether the iterations solve the first user testing problems 

Let 3 participants explore the prototype without any guidance


✅✅✅   3/3 users can share Post in less than 3 seconds 
✅✅✅   3/3 users are able to identify Shelter's capacity and resources
✅✅✅   3/3 users noticed the Notification button  
✅✅✅   3/3 users succeed  in Reserve the supplies and receive confirmation  

What I Learn & Next Steps 

Design with agile environment. In this design challenge, I only have 5 days from brainstorming to deliver final product. Therefore I need to make the priority list on each stage to help me keep track on time.  For example, in the past when I have more time on a design project, I will first conduct google survey and compile the answers into more narrow questions that I will like to know when interviewing the users. However, in this design challenge I don't have the time to wait for enough people filled up the survey. In the interview I choose the technique to encourage users to share their experience without me asking them specific questions. 

Next Step. In this design challenge I focus heavily on the research and didn't have time to conduct more user testing. In the next step I will like to conduct A/B testing with google analytics with different group of users like different age group and demographic. I will like to challenge myself to think on this product will work on some extreme cases. For example, how will people from third world country who just get their new phone will use this app. If more time allowed, I will also like to spend time on polishing the UI and the branding part. 

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