Nicole Valdespino Nogues

To: gether

Supporting the safety of women commuting or traveling alone

Is it possible to increase security? What are the things that make women feel safer? What are some risk factors?


An essential part of the research was finding out and being able to better understand the user. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted. My goal was to get insight into specific concerns and how users are currently navigating the experience of commuting alone.  Insights:

She feels safer in places she is familiar with because she knows where to go or even run to in case of being in danger, she knows where to ask for help

She often carries a tool that she could use as self-defense

  • Pepper spray,

  • Swiss Army knife

  • Panic alarms

She tries to avoid places she has heard are dangerous or where she knows assaults had happened. If she knows she can avoid these places and take routes that she has not heard of any assault she feels less anxious. 

She feels safer if she is able to be in contact with a family member or a friend. Someone who is on the lookout for updates on her arrival.


After doing research and talking to users it allowed me to figure out relevant features to the solution. One of the main features for an MVP include: finding the safest route. This would be an algorithm gathering data from user inputs through the app.

User Journey

Building Empathy

- Sofia, 18

"I'm always cautious and alert, especially in unfamiliar places. I sometimes get extremely nervous "

-Ana, 32

"I've avoided going out if I know I will be alone. I tend to change my plans to make sure I have company"

-Marissa, 25

"I'm scared that I could be seen as an easy target - get rapped  robbed or  kidnapped"

- Paulina, 54

" I always carry my phone with me and try to keep it handy but not too visible"


Who is she?

She feels safer walking/passing by through places that she is familiar with because she thinks she'll know where to run and ask for help if she needs to

She tries to avoid places that she has heard are dangerous: places where assaults and robbery have taken place.

She feels anxious in places that are dark and seem to be lonely. 

Having a companion is a huge relief. When she goes out, she keeps it short if she has no company

She feels safer during the day because she knows more stores are open. This means more options to ask for help or shelter

She owns and/or carries a tool for her to use as self-defense in case of an attack.

Shaping a solution: first iteration

First iteration based on user insights. 


After the initial concept was defined with relevant features, I was able to craft the first paper prototype for user testing (I love paper prototypes!!)

Designing to: gether

Paper prototypes were tested with five potential users. They were asked to perform the most relevant tasks. After observing them perform the tasks, they provided feedback in a Q&A section.

Shaping a solution: second iteration

Initial Digital Prototype

Refining: towards a third iteration

Edit one

Providing the user with the option of choosing from provided alternative routes

Edit Two

Providing the user with the option of re-routing if disliking or feeling uncomfortable while on the current route

Significant edits

Edits on UX copy were made and re-tested with a positive user response.

The two shown edits  related to the most relevant features were implemented in the second iteration of the product

Next up


  • Getting the Safest Route (Algorithm)

  • Emergency Push

  • Adding "trackers"


  • Creating a Report

  • Showing other users report on map

  • User rating (input)


  • Commenting on Reports

  • Changing trackers during route

Violence and insecurity are persistent factors in society to which, unfortunately, women are more prone to becoming victims. There is a "plus of terror" for women that generates a limitation when commuting or traveling. The experience of going out alone, being a woman should not represent extra stress and the fear and anxiety of going out alone should be minimized.

Feature Prioritization

Wireframes: third iteration

Insight One

Feels uncomfortable using unknown routes to get to places due to fear of them being unsafe. 

  • Lonely places

  • Dark places

Insight Two

Dislikes commuting/traveling alone. Always wants to let friends and family know when they arrive to their destination

Insight Three

Wants to make her own decisions based on how comfortable she feels. 

Insight Four

She looks for open establishments with people when she feels uncomfortable or unsafe

Findings and Features 

Insight-Feature relationship. 

Feature One

Providing the safest route available based on destination

Feature Two

Add "trackers" providing constant location sharing and notifications of re-routes and arrival.

Insight Two

Providing two alternative routes and re-routing options while on route

Feature Four

Displaying nearby open establishments with the open to re-route

Prototype: first iteration