Due to the ongoing Sars(special anti-robbery squad) brutality, daylight robbery and harassment, Beeep was thought of as a solution to take steps towards keeping citizens safe from spontaneous police oppression.
Desigining a solution that would serve as a way to keep citizens safe by alerting the right people about their current situation.
For decades there has been a reoccurrence of the police misusing the power given to them to protect citizens.
Right here in Nigeria, it is no different. All over the news, you would come across different stories and instances of the police abusing its citizens, most especially the youths.
In Nigeria, we have the SARS (Special Anti – Robbery Squad), assigned with the task of combating against the crime of armed robbery and violent occult activities. Alas, they(SARS) have abandoned that duty and started attacking and robbing innocent people. Top of the list of the people they attack includes freelancers and people working in tech (especially young people). It has become a sad case of Victim Profiling.
This has resulted in the citizens of Nigeria calling for the Government to End the SARS unit. On social media, it is now commonplace to see daily reports of police brutality and you end up wondering if you are next. #ENDSARS is not the anthem we chant daily in the hope for some sort of salvation from our leaders.
A proposed solution
I believe that for developing countries before the government ever sits up, we should use the skills we have gotten in tech to provide well-desinged solutions tailored to our problems.
A small team of devs and designers came together to create a tech/service based solution to keeping the targets of this brutality safe(now safety is relative in this context). While we cannot outrightly stop the brutality. We can get you instant access to a lawyer, alert people close to you(friends and family), and also prevent you from being robbed of your cash by the police (There have been several instances of the police taking victims to the ATM and emptying their accounts).
Further details and screens
In terms of research, we did a lot of desktop research, and we were able to talk to just 7 people in terms of in-person interviews, simply because a lot of people do not like reliving such brutal memories. Twitter has a thread daily of the experiences of people at the had of the Nigerian Police, we poured through that and also included our personal experiences.
We decided to provide Safety As a Service (SAAS). Our last iteration included including a monthly running cost and also discussing with developers on the possibility of letting a beep purge transactional data and bank apps from your device once there is a police encounter.
Colour choices were based on a combination of research and the colour wheel. The colour for justice, being brown and combine that with the Adobe colour wheel, we settled on green.
User testing with the prototype was great and also provided interesting insights. While people loved the idea and UI implementation, they offered suggestions on how to optimize the service better and gave suggestions on organizations we can partner with to make this more effective.
Some of the suggestion included not relying on just buddies and lawyers but to also partner with organizations concerned with human rights(so they can aid with rapid response) and to also partner with insurance organizations. Another good suggestion was to provide a free package and also include a 30 day trial for users to adapt to the product and see its value.
Taking back this prototype to some of the users we interviewed also yielded some useful insights. While we already though of a constant notification bar to help you easily activate the Beeep wile on your lock screen, further conversations with them showed how short the time would be to do that, noting that the police ask for your mobile device and switch it off within the first few seconds of confronting you. So we decided to also include power key binding to activate the Beeep. The idea is to press the power button 3 times rapidly and it would vibrate a little to let you know that Beeep has been activated(it would also hide all notification details relating to it).
We are already in the development phase and plan on pushing out an MVP before the close of Q2 2020. You can visit the website here.