Ambar App

Safety App for Women

Hackshow Winner

Ambar First Prototype

Ambar is the resoult of my Final Project of the UX/UI bootcamp at Ironhack Barcelona. I started researching about how women relate to states of danger. I find out this was a major pain point, particulary on countries where authorities are unreliable. I've analyzed current behaviors, and find out that the social network is the one taking care of the protection of people.

Regardless the gravity, a violent event can trastocate permanently your notion of safety. "Safety" is a subjective concept. I've decided to design an app wich main feature is sharing your location within a group you trust. This app can be use as a tool to deal with ongoing states of alert on women daily life and help with alert and emergency situations.

This is the most important project developed individually where I apply all what I've learn during the Bootcamp, but also on the way I would like to work, trying to find solutions to problems people face everyday.

Have a look at my process ⇣

☕ UX Process


You will have two weeks to build a digital product based on your own vision, research, findings and the UX/UI process you’ve learned throughout the program. You can create either an App or a responsive website. You need to identify a problem that perhaps you or someone you know are facing every day. Choose something you would love to work on, because you already know the topic or because you are genuinely curious about it.

Individual Project / 11 days

Generative Research

For this task I needed to pick up a topic, and I spent the hole first day trying to pick one, but left the class without having a topic. Comming back home in the metro, I couln't avoid listening a women saying -with southamerican accent- "I don't have nothing here, but I feel much safer". Then it was clear to me that I needed to work around violence and women from latinamerican context.

By picking up such a complex and broad topic I was well aware of my personal bias. Even If I knew from experience how this context can be for women, my work as a designer would be to confirm my hipotesis with research.

Problem Overview

Mexico level of feminicide nears pandemic in 2015. Image source:

The violence have been increasing in the past years in Mexico. All the country population is affected by “violent waves”, and one of the most affected segments of population are women. Life keep going on despite the situation, and womens face alert states, either constantly or in specific moments: walking on their own, during the night, while transporting or passing by solitary zones.

→ 7.5 women are kill every day in Mexico (since 2015).

→ 63% of mexican women face violence.

It's sad for me to say that Mexico has one of the higest rates on feminicides in the world. The term "femicide", was used for the first time in Mexico to identify a homicide which happen to women, just because is a women. Having this as a background, the general fear in mexican womens goes beyond sexual harassment, in many levels they are fearing for the integrity of their life. Also is a context where you cannot rely on the state to protect their citizens, so emergency states are resolved by familly and close friends.

"Oye, Claudia" is a network of support of women created by Luz Gonzalez.
Source ADN40mx.

Research Planning

I've started my project making cuestions. Then I choose the methodologies that would help me answering or getting more information about them. It was also my final project so it was very important for me to have an rich UX Design process.

Defining my cuestions, will guide me gathering data, and having great data will help me taking inform desitions along the process.

What do I want to find out?

↝ Do they feel in danger?, Is this actually a real problem for them?

↝ What are they fearing to happen?, what do we mean when saying danger?

↝ When do they feel in danger?, when it becames a problem? during the day, at night, all times?

↝ When feeling in danger, what's the first thing they do?, Are they looking for an strategical or physical solution?

↝ What precautions thet are they currently taking? (detecting existing behaviors!)

↝ Until what level they rely on their social network for protection? Which are the existing channels of protection?

↝ Who would they trust?, who would they contact first?

↝ What tools of communication are you used to use? (this will also help me knowing their native enviroment regarding apps, when they use apps and for what they use them for).

From who?

My target audience are mexican women, but I know that lots of women from many other countries (unfortunally) will also identify with the problem, so I would be open to explore other audience even if my focus is in Mexican Women for start.

How I would reach them?

Since Im living in Barcelona and my target audience is in another continent, I will use the internet, my personal facebook account, watsapp and skype.

Project Planning

⌛How much time do I have?

11 days (counting the weekend).

I worked defining goals per day

User Interviews

I started my research process with 5 user interviews in order to gather cualitative data. I needed to sense how mexican women releate to states of danger.

My promt was:

Have you ever feel in danger?...

Would you like to share with me
more about it?

This was like oppening the Pandora Box, and they all have something to say about this topic.

Key insights

➞ They all mention "network" and "groups" of protection.

➞ They all consider this have been a mayor problem on their daily lives.

➞ They never think about it until something had happened, a violent event (regardless the gravity) can permanently trastocate their personal notion of safety.

➞ They mention age, being young women makes you more expose.

Online Survey

I decided to run an online survey in order to reach a broader group of mexican women. I write a 17 cuestions survey focus on detecting existing behaviors.

I had a very high level of response
245 persons took a 17 cuestions survey.

Key insights

➞ They inform other people where they are as a precautory meassure.

➞ They first contact a person they trust (low level of reliability on authorities)

➞ Subjectve wellbeing is determinate by states of violence, they often feel fear despite having concrete reasons, ongoing states of alert.

➞ They look for strategic (non physical) solutions to states of alert. Wich means an app can help providing strategic steps.

➞ Large number of women have been victims of physical violence at some point in their lives.

➞ If they know some one is in trouble, they all would like to help if they can, (only 6 persons out of 245 said "each person can take care of themselves")

The close social network is the one taking care of the states of alert.

Mutual care is fundamental to keep safe in a violent context.


I decided to make an infography (in process) for sharing the survey resoults with the participants, since a large number of them live their email for following up, and show interest in keeping up with the progress of the project.

Affinity Diagram

This is a slide, click the image to go next

Having the Affinty Diagram close to you help you keeping in mind WHO you are doing this for, and WHY they need it.

Primary Persona

Secondary Persona

A persona is not an imaginary characterization of a user. A persona is a sintesis of your research, should reflect your most important insights.

I've created two personas because it was a group interaction app, so I was needing two actors along the process.


Mexican Women need a way to create a protection network because they cannot rely on authorities to help them in a dangerous situation.



Cynthia decided to go out this weekend with her girlfriends (her boyfriend is not with her this night). She is having a great time so she stays later that usual. She takes a taxi. On the way back to her house, she notice that the taxi driver starts looking at her in a way that she don't like. Cynthia realised streets are emty and that she is basically alone with a taxi driver. Cynthia starts sharing her location with her boyfriend, as a precautionary measure.


Paloma is from Guadalajara and moved to Mexico City to study University. She suffer an attempt of rape on her way back home at the age of 21. After the incident her notion of safty have been completly trastocated. Silvia, her mum, have been suffering with her since the incident. Paloma feels brave and continue having a normal life. Silvia call her everyday, several times a day, particularly on the weekends. Paloma wouldn’t like to share with her mum everything she does. Paloma wants to keep her privacy while sharing enough information to let her mum know she is okay.

Cynthia Journey

Paloma Journey

Commpetitive Analysis

Safy apps

Sharing Location Feature

Features / Needs Matrix

To work out the features I made a general list of features and needs that will be ordered in scale of danger, from daily life to the worst case scenario.

MoSCoW Method


Share localization (gps)

Have a Primary Contact of Emergency and a Circle of Trust of max 3 persons.

Have emergency/panic/alert button that enables contacting groups.

Activate series of actions after hitting the button. Automatically record audio, put your phone in saving battery mode...etc

Be discreet, gestural, clear buttons and actions, not very precise UI elements.

Be able add information. What transport are you using?, with who you are?.

Follow the worst case scenario.

Road Map

Work without internet using MMS coordinates (if having phone line).

Video recording and simultaneous transfer to groups (need internet for that).

Create a website that support the social network and public forums.

Have a mapping of incidents that is feeded by users, public open denounce space (parallel to goverment stats).

Contact people you don’t know but is around you and can help (note: how would be dealing with trust validation?)


Tell you what zones are being more dangerous at that time.

Guide you and give you advice after a violent incident.


Work at all if you don't have any phone line.

Generate a loud noise or emergency lights (hardware limitation).

Help you fighting.

At this point I would recommed a Design Studio session using sharpics and timeboxing. The thik sharpic will prevent you getting stock in details and you can focus on brainstorming solutions.

User Flow & Paper Prototype

This diagram have help me figuring up the flow:

I itinerate between the user flow and the paper prototype, because they help defining and modeling each other. Often I had to modify the flow after doing some paper screens, because I realised I was missing some steps, and the other way around.

You don't need expensive resources to test your ideas. Make a drawing of your interface, ask some one to be your user, give them a task and he or she will pretend "is the real screen". Following this almost teatrical dynamic is very powerfull in UX. The material investment is cero but the feedback provided after testing is priceless.

Testing will make you know that what you are building is usable.


After defining the flow and interface paper prototype. I made a brief test to define the logo. I asked people wich they like the most and what they asociate it with.

Final Logotype is a location point with orange ring to refer to Ambar state.


Colors are very importat in this app, because they refer to states.

• Blue is normal sharing location feature, the one I will encourage to use the most, so you are actively sharing where you are before an incidence happen.

• Ambar is a precautory state, "keep an eye on me", in case there's time to the user to inform something wierd is going on but no real emergency happening yet.

• Red trigger actions directly releated to emergency states. This is also a simple app button, that appear after dowloading the app, and trigger al the functions by one tap.

Hi fidelity Screens

Hi fidelity Prototype

Ironhack Hackshow

This project was selected to present on the hackshow on the 20th of october in Ironhack Barcelona and recieve the public vote as winner. Thank you!

Next steps

☞ Run Usability Test on the prototype.

☞ Implement changes after testing.

☞ Define and know more about other audiences that would also use this app. Who else could use it?


☞ Know your goal and get there following little steps in the correct direction.

☞ How to use UX hemathy methodologies to present your users to others.

☞ Making visuals to present your research, prevents "research" staying as an abstract part of the design process.

☞ Details are important, but "is better done than perfect" (really!).

Thank you for comming up this far, Did you like Ambar App? Im still working on it, you can write me some feedback to