I worked with a startup that creates communication solutions for the incarcerated.
The CEO had an idea for a system that monitors and manages devices worn by inmates. The system enables facility staff to track usage and biometrics. He asked that I help him create a prototype that he could present to investors.
Worked alongside the CEO. I lead research efforts, rapidly prototyped, and presented in 1-on-1 meetings.
“By 2016, an estimated 6,741,400 individuals were supervised by U.S. adult correctional systems.”
Danielle Kaeble and Lauren E. Glaze, Bureau of Justice Statistics 12/29/16
Inmates could be monitored via a wearable device that would transmit vital signs, sleep patterns, and pedometer data. It would provide:
- Ease of use
- Decrease time-consuming administration and documentation tasks
Ideate a supportive MDM system that manages and monitors wearable devices worn by inmates.
In the kickoff meeting we discussed our must haves and constraints:
- Track and manage device usage
- Manage apps and OS’s
- Provide device and content analytics
- Track biometric data
- Track financial data
- Minimal interaction from facility staff
- Friendly to those unfamiliar with tech
- Facilities with various screen sizes
- No personas / use cases
I pulled ideas and inspiration from Dribbble, Andrew Coyle's article Design better data tables, and existing MDMs.
When defining priorities in a project, I like to refer to Peter Morville's UX Honeycomb.👉🏾
For this project, I focused on making the UI usable, useful, and valuable. To achieve this the UI must have:
- Actionable items at a glance
- Ability to scale (feature/user)
- Follow established UI/UX patterns
- Labeling Content
- User Navigation
For me, the visual process starts with sketches. I like to flesh out low and high level details of the layouts and interactions.
Low Fidelity Prototypes
The first wireframes focused on the Monitor and Financial pages. I followed Material Guidelines with regards to the Data Table and Expansion Panel. App functionality is basic:
- Select an inmate
- View details
- Navigate to another page
Mo Data, Mo Space
I learned that more data will display in the table. I explored displaying content in a modal and added the ability to apply filters. I learned that Admin Users will screen the communication apps on the wearable device. I explored ways to display content within the data table (popover). I added the ‘Device Management’ page and explored ways to display data (charts, bar, etc.)
Expand and Collapse
I realized that side panels would be the better choice than a modal. It would allow more screen real estate and also not block content. I reverted back to data displaying in a side panel that opens and closes when an inmate is selected.
I also explored an expandable and collapsible filter ‘side rail’. It would add extra screen real estate.
I placed the 'screening' feature within the data table. This would allow the Admin Users to investigate and track at a glance without leaving the page.
Personas Guide Decisions
Even though the project went well, I learned that I should've pushed for the creation of personas. During the discovery phase, I created a list of Users I wanted to explore. Each User had specific tasks and pain points that would’ve informed the design.
I’m writing a retrospective case study. My new findings call for an Outcomes Management System. This system could support prisoner reentry programs.