Project Overview:

As of December 31st, 2013, there have been 84,136 missing person reports on record. Of those reports, it is no secret that the majority of cases face a media barrier of economic, gender, and ageist biases against marginalized groups. Lack of support or inappropriate media attention makes it painfully difficult for friends and families of missing persons to sustain hope and to find comfort. The loved ones of missing persons live in a perpetual waiting room. In a state of ambiguous loss, they continue their relationship with the missing person but, for the enduring stretch of time, they do not have the physical match onto whom their affection and yearning can affix, nor the body on whom to surrender to loss and grieving.

The focus of this project is to connect loved ones of missing persons to a larger community, Websleuths.com, through a system that aims to provide hope and support. This interconnectivity between loved ones and the web-sleuthing community is a central theme in our process. We have chosen to approach this project with a user-centered design framework in an iterative design process.

Process:

Through multiple rounds of iterations, we refine our initial concept through rigorous analysis of our data in order to develop a meaningful solution. We have adopted the lens of the loved one’s perspective in order to conduct our user-centered design. All of our primary and secondary research enabled us to deeply explore the problem space shared between loved ones of missing persons and community members. Throughout the process, we asked, “How might we provide hope for loved ones of missing persons by utilizing community support?”. By keeping this question in focus, we gained empathy for our target user group and create opportunities for a meningful solution. Our team took advantage of several design and data collection methods including semi-structured interviews, critical point mapping, mental maps, persona development, prototyping, and usability testing.

Timeline of project: Fall 2014 (approximately 4 Weeks)

Methods Used: Interviews, Usability Testing, RITE Method, Paper Prototyping, Storyboarding, Concept Scenarios, Personas. 

Design Software Used: Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, Sketch. 

Team Members: Prianka Rayamajhi, Micah Nethery, Amanda Peterson, Michelle Gottschlich

Collaborators: Tricia, Co-owner of WebSleuths.com

Wireframes: Watch the video below that I made for CHI 2015!