Case Study

eDispatches First Responder App

Reimagining the first responder emergency dispatch experience for the modern smartphone.
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eDispatches is a leading service provider, modernizing the emergency dispatch experience for fire departments and first responders all across the United States. Their solution turns local emergency radio and computer-aided dispatch alerts into text messages, phone calls, and app push notifications delivered directly to first responders' phones.

The Need

Upon approaching Camber, eDispatches had already built a successful business on top of their complete solution, including their mobile apps for iOS and Android.

While exceptionally reliable, their apps were showing their age from a user interface design standpoint, and had significant user experience enhancement opportunities like making the app easier to adopt, adding personalization options for individual users, and developing all-new features to improve emergency responses and the life-saving work of their first responder subscribers.

A Challenge

Because the technical architecture was already mature, we had to be cautious not to introduce user experience changes in the client apps which would cause disproportionately large rework on the apps' back end programming.

We needed to practice some constraints-based design to not only ensure that we did not design impractical solutions, but also that we created the most delightful user experience improvements possible–all the way up to the achievable limit within the desired timeframe.

Our Solution

We helped eDispatches produce a ground-up user experience overhaul for their mobile apps and company website. In the mobile apps, we carried over all of the critical alert and response features that their subscribers relied on every day, and introduced brand new ways for users to interact with alerts and the other first responders on their team.

With this major app update, we gave eDispatches a modern design aesthetic which places active emergency dispatch information in a large, inbox-like view, right when they open the app.

When users expand an active emergency dispatch, they now have an all-new visual response system which creates a map-based visual of the entire coordinated response across the department. Now users could see the reported location of the incident relative to their fire station, and indicate to the rest of their department when and where they are responding to the incident.

When a user has indicated they are responding, their current position and their intended destination are also shown on the map for contextual awareness across the entire responding team without needing to talk by phone or radio.

Better Communication for a Better Response

Along with the new visual response system, we added personalization settings to allow individual department members to broadcast their availability and receive emergency alerts only when they are available to respond.

We even added the capability for first responders who subscribe to alerts from multiple fire departments to set their availability on a per-department basis.

Better transparency about which department members are available leads to better emergency response outcomes.

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