Emotion-driven redesign for emergency preparedness

Work — Ole valmis 2.0

Redesigning the Ole valmis! app for motivating users to prepare for emergencies


March 2024

Research, ideation, UX, UI

Evoking excitement, trust, and satisfaction

My goal was to redesign an app from an emotional design perspective, with the users’ desired emotional response as the main focus. This project was part of the IxD.ma study program at the Estonian Academy of Arts.

I chose to work on the app Ole valmis! (Be prepared!). It gives practical advice on how to prepare for various emergency situations while in Estonia. It was created in 2020 by Estonian Women’s Voluntary Defence Organization and gained a lot of popularity during the Covid pandemic.

The app includes instructions for emergencies, a crisis supply manager, and phone numbers – targeted at anyone located in Estonia. However, many users fail to prepare for accidents in advance. I assigned myself the task of motivating these individuals and selected them as the focus users.

My challenge involved redesigning the original app’s core functionality – providing instructions – with the aim of motivating users by evoking positive emotions.

Emotional design

Emergencies are always associated with negative emotions. To mitigate this negativity, I decided to focus on the positive aspects: motivating users to feel excitement, trust, and satisfaction.

Based on these emotions, I formed the following design principles: engage, encourage, empower.

Each of those corresponds to one of Don Norman’s three levels of design. Engaging means making it attractive and enjoyable (visceral). Encouraging is building on responsibility and trust (behavioural). Empowering is about inducing satisfaction and confidence (reflective).

How might we
evoke excitement, trust, and satisfaction in users
when preparing for emergencies in Estonia?

Analysing the original

After investigating the original design’s intentions, its core actions, motivations, and emotions, I discovered that it was very difficult to find instructions and understand the meanings behind each category and specific terminology used in titles. This is likely to cause confusion and insecurity. The video presents the interaction map (open in FigJam) I created for analysing the core functionality and structure of the app.

Redesigning UX

To solve the problem, the redesign needed to address two issues: improve the availability of information and increase users’ motivation to prepare for emergencies before they arise. Based on group ideation, I decided to introduce gamification and a new way to access content. The video presents the new user journey in the form of a flowchart (open in FigJam).

The impact

During the project, I redesigned the core functionality of the Ole valmis! app. The new solution is significantly more motivating for users than the original, testing confirms. Gamified elements engage users. A personalized approach along with a trustworthy tone of voice instills trust and encourages users. Emphasizing achievements boosts confidence.

I learned to analyze the existing solution and identify pain points. The constraints arising from existing features and content presented an exciting opportunity for creative approaches. The question for me was how much gamification should be implemented to increase motivation without losing focus on the content. Additionally, catering to those preparing for incidents while keeping the content readily available for those already experiencing an emergency posed a challenge. I worked on finding a balance and clarified the information structure by removing a level from categories that were difficult to understand.