As the solo product designer on the Trupass project, the majority of my tasks include identifying user needs, designing user interfaces and experiences, conducting user testing and research, and collaborating with the development team to ensure the product meets user and business requirements, with a focus on creating a secure and effective communications platform for estate residents in Nigeria.
There weren’t too many nuances regarding the concept of Trupass as the app was quite straightforward. It’s built for estate residents to have quick access to services and communicate with fellow residents with ease.
Simply put, Trupass was a brilliant ideology considering the state of security in Nigeria, the service had the potential of going nationwide.
There have been numerous stories of hooligans and hired assassins going into estates and murdering targets.
The fact that such cases are so hard for the police to track because there wasn’t enough lead has led to a lot of criminal records lingering in the court of law for many years with victims not getting the justice they deserve.
Another thing is the fact that the world is becoming less and less united and that is especially true in Nigeria as there are different divisions among the people ranging from the differences in ethnicity and religious beliefs all of which have led everyone to only camp with their own.
Some blamed this on the politicians who are using the “Divide and Conquer” tactics in other to remain in power because a divided nation is easier to control than a united one.
Even at that, the fact that most Middle-working-class citizens in the country don’t often have the time to socialize with their fellow neighbors in their estates because everyone is “minding their business” has led to a sense of unnecessary distance among people.
These and so many problems are some of what Trupass aims to tackle and eliminate. But how possible that would be by building an application that not only serves a security purpose but also a sociable purpose to bring people within a neighborhood together despite religious and ethnic differences?
I was approached by an acquaintance who is a software engineer who happens to be working on the project asking if I could design the application and sure, I took it on.
The premise of the application was exciting and as a Nigerian myself, this looked like a very great way of securing neighborhoods at least to some extent.
There were a couple of features that were initially thought about but we soon add other features to it to make it better while retaining simplicity because it’s going to be used by people and not some tech-savvy individuals in Silicon Valley.
Trupass would revolutionize residents in Nigeria as the system can easily be adopted and deployed by any real estate management agencies within the estates they manage.
The application would also be highly customizable so that features can be exclusive to different estates depending on the needs and wants of the dwellers.
What is Trupass?
Trupass is an innovative mobile application that provides an all-in-one solution for estate security. With its advanced features and intuitive design, Trupass is changing the way estate communities manage their security and communication.
At the heart of Trupass is its Panic trigger, a feature that allows estate dwellers to quickly and easily send a security compromise signal to their fellow neighbors and estate security agents. Whether it’s a break-in, a fire issue, or a medical emergency, the Panic trigger ensures that help is just a few taps away.
Trupass also includes a collection feature that makes it easy to collect estate fees and levies virtually. With this feature, there’s no need to worry about the hassle of collecting cash or checks. Instead, estate residents can easily make payments directly from their mobile devices to an official account of the estate administration.
The Meetings feature is a powerful tool for scheduling and managing estate meetings. Whether it’s a neighborhood watch meeting or a board meeting, Trupass makes it easy to schedule and view existing estate meeting schedules.
Visitors is a feature that lets homeowners schedule a pass for a visitor by stating how long the visitor will stay and which house they will be visiting. This makes it easy for guests to enter the estate and for residents to keep track of who is coming and going.
Finally, the Co-Neighbors feature lets homeowners onboard a fellow home dweller so they can have access to the estate via their own generated virtual card.
This makes it easy for residents to share access with friends and family, while still maintaining control over who has access to the estate.
With its powerful features and user-friendly design, Trupass is revolutionizing the way estate communities manage their security and communication. Whether you’re an estate residence, security agent, or property manager, Trupass is the app you need to keep your community safe and connected.
Challenges I faced designing Trupass
As the solo Product Designer on the project, designing Trupass was a challenging yet rewarding experience. From the beginning, I faced several obstacles that tested my abilities as a designer and required me to think creatively and outside the box.
One of the biggest challenges I faced was balancing the needs of the various stakeholders involved in the project.
On one hand, I wanted to make sure that the app was easy to use and intuitive for estate residents. On the other hand, I needed to ensure that the app had the features and functionality required by estate security agents and property managers.
This meant that I had to constantly consider the different perspectives and priorities of each group as I designed the app.
Another major challenge was making sure that the app was both secure and user-friendly.
Security was a top priority for the project, and I needed to make sure that the app was designed in such a way that user data was protected and privacy was maintained at all costs.
At the same time, I also needed to make sure that the app was accessible and easy to use for everyone, regardless of their technical skills. This was a delicate balance to strike, and it required a lot of time and effort to get right.
In addition to these broader challenges, there were also many smaller, more technical challenges that I had to overcome. For example, I needed to make sure that the app was designed to be responsive and function well on a wide range of devices and screen sizes.
Even though 6.5-inch seems to be the new size for most smartphones, there are many smartphones with bigger screens or smaller.
I also had to make sure that the app was designed to be fast and efficient so that users could access the information they needed quickly and easily.
The panic trigger also took several decisions and meetings before we agreed on things to include as features of the App.
I spent a lot of time researching and testing different design approaches, and I ultimately settled on a simple, one-touch interface that would allow users to quickly and easily send emergency alerts (more on that later).
Despite these challenges, I was able to successfully design the Trupass app and the stakeholders felt it was right for their target market.
I am proud of the work I did on this project, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked on such a meaningful and impactful product. Looking back on the project, I have a deeper appreciation for the skills and experience that I gained as a designer, and I am eager to take on new challenges in the future.
Design Stages regarding Trupass
The product design stages required when designing a mobile app like Trupass typically include:
- Discovery: This is the stage where the stakeholders and I gathered necessary research information regarding the problem we were trying to solve. We did several surveys, market research, and analyses to gain a better understanding of the target audience and their needs.
- Ideation: Next was the ideation stage where I generated several ideas and design concepts that were examined and evaluated by the stakeholders. The majority of things I did at this stage involved paper sketches in order to showcase my understanding of the problems we were trying to solve.
- User Testing: Then I conducted some user testing by meeting with a group of volunteers who falls within our target demographics to get feedback regarding the concepts that I’ve been developing. The important takeaway from the stage is understanding the pain points of the respondents which served as a means of improving the overall experience of the application.
- Design Refinement: Upon response, I was able to convene with the stakeholders regarding my findings in order to make tweaks to what we initially agreed on, and upon approval, I was able to fully commence my design task.
- Design: The Hi-fi design took me about 2 weeks to complete even though I worked under a tight schedule. But the information mentioned above helped speed up my tasks, which took about a week before we did a review to make corrections to the design before the handoff.
- Design Approval: Approving the design didn’t take long at all that’s due to the responsive team I worked with. And development started almost immediately afterward.
- Design testing: I was able to go through the developed application in order to investigate features, user flows, and design aesthetics if they were similar to what was designed. The development team was very responsive and supportive. This stage didn’t take so long. I also did a number of support work for the development team in order to guide them through the design flows and everything that came with it.
As mentioned earlier, it was a challenging experience but we were able to finish the entire design of the project from conceptualization to developer handoff within a month.
My approach to app design
As the solo Product Designer on the Trupass project, my approach to the problem presented was necessary for a successful implementation of a viable solution.
I was able to implement a lot of my creative and problem-solving understanding to ensure the proposed problem can be solved via a great user interface and experience.
- I conducted thorough research in an attempt to further understand the needs of the target users and the market.
- I then worked closely with stakeholders to ensure alignment on project goals and priorities.
- I was able to create essential user personas and empathy maps to understand the users’ behavior and motivations.
- I developed user flows, wireframes, and prototypes to visualize and test product concepts.
- I then proceeded to the conduction of user testing and where I gathered feedback in order to iterate and improve the product design.
- The success of the previous stage allowed me to proceed to the visual identity stage where I created high-fidelity mockups and user interface elements.
- Working closely with the development team to ensure the product design is implemented accurately and efficiently.
Although I wasn’t necessarily in favor of constant meetings, we had a scheduled weekly stand-up where we address issues and requests from the previous week and then talk about possible fixes that are expected in the next week.
The entire design system was made with Figma thanks to its high-end collaborative feature. We were able to collaborate on the design canvas, address comments and make design changes to the flow and the overall UI of the application.
We mostly communicated over Zoom when making visual presentations for other stakeholders and developers which resulted in the speedy delivery of the application.
As mentioned earlier, the application is an estate security and communications management solution that provides estate dwellers with a platform to mingle with one another as well as stay safe within the estate’s premises.
The application’s aims are to improve communication, safety, and security within the estate, making life easier and more convenient for residents.
To understand the customer insight of the Trupass application, I conducted a survey among the demographics and target audiences who are current estate dwellers who have used the application. Based on the feedback, we have identified the following insights:
- Improved communication: Residents want the application to have an improved communication system among residents in the estate. This will allow residents to communicate easily with one another and share information about social events, security alerts, and emergencies. The application should also help to foster a sense of community within the estate.
- Increased safety and security: The application should increase safety and security within the estate. The residents should be able to report suspicious activities, accidents, or emergencies through the application. The security team can then respond to these alerts and take appropriate actions. The application should also help to deter crime within the estate.
- Convenience and accessibility: The Trupass application should be convenient and accessible. The residents should be able to access the application from their smartphones (iOS and Android platforms). They should also be able to quickly manage their security pass, pay bills, and access other services provided by estate management. The application should eliminate the need for residents to physically visit the estate management office to do things like dying estate dues and bills.
- Ease of use: The application should be easy to use so that the residents can navigate through the application effortlessly. The user interface should be simple, and the design should be intuitive, making it easy for the residents to find what they need quickly.
- Customizable preferences: The application should allow residents to customize their preferences. They should able to do things such as setting up their privacy and accessibility on the app, changing their notification preferences, and so forth.
- Trust and reliability: The residents should be able to trust the Trupass application and the estate management team. They should have a confident feeling that their personal information is secure and that the application is reliable. The application should help build trust between the residents and the estate management team.
The customer insight reveals that the application will be well-received by potential residents, because of the impact it will have on their lives.
UI Design for Trupass.
As stated earlier, a comprehensive design system was where the entire high-fidelity user interface design started.
Worked with the branding team to come about the colors, fonts, typography, and so forth before I proceeded to create all the necessary components that would feature across the user interface such as the app’s navigation, form fields, buttons, avatar states, cards, lists, and so forth.
I imported Google material iconography which was used across the app’s UI. Some components were later added to the design systems based on requests.
Although the concept of the application seems complex, my approach was to simplify it in every way possible and that is my job in the first place.
I made use of list view for almost all the features of the application (see below) due to the fact that we were targeting regular users and we want the app to be easily accessible by anyone as possible.
Also, the quick feature links on the home page were in simple 2 rows by 3 columns while the remaining space was used as a log for previous activities on the app.
The user’s virtual card which is very essential for easy access to their estate’s premises was also part of the top features on the home page.
Based on the requirements, users cannot necessarily onboard the app by themselves but instead rely on the estate Admin to do so based on information provided by them.
Their email and a generated password are sent to the new resident who is then required to change the information in order to secure the application.
As the solo product designer, here are some steps I took to create an effective design system and user-friendly interface for the Trupass mobile app:
- Understanding the product: Helped me go about the application’s goals, features, and target users. This also helps to create a design system that is tailored to the application’s specific needs and requirements.
- Research: I conducted a thorough study in order to identify best practices and trends in user interface design. I also went across competitors’ products explored similar applications, and gather feedback from potential users to identify pain points and design requirements.
- Create a design system: A design system is a collection of design elements and principles that ensure consistency and coherence across an application. That said, I created a design system that includes color palettes, typography, iconography, grid systems, and other design elements that will guide the development of the application’s user interface.
- Wireframes and prototypes: Wireframes are low-fidelity representations of the application’s user interface. They helped me in testing and refining the design system’s effectiveness in achieving the application’s goals. Once I have validated the wireframes based on feedback from the client, I proceeded to create high-fidelity prototypes to test the user interface’s functionality and aesthetics.
- Test and iterate: I tested the prototypes with respondents in order to gather feedback and identify areas for improvement. Then I iterated on the designs based on the feedback and continue testing until I was confident that the user interface design meets the application’s goals and requirements.
- Document and communicate: I proceeded to document the design system and its user interface guidelines before sharing them with the development team and stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
In summary, designing a comprehensive design system and high-fidelity user interface for Trupass required a combination of research, testing, and iterative design.
It was essential to stay focused on the application’s goals and target users while maintaining consistency and coherence across the user interface.
The fact that I started on the right foot by communicating with the development team and stakeholders made it easy to create a usable product that was also easy to develop.
Features of the Application
As stated earlier, the Trupass mobile app came with a number of features that are all centered around security and community rapport among estate residents.
While there were about 9 core features, there are in fact other features that are well intertwined within the app’s ecosystem to enhance its usability and functionalities.
Before coming up with the features of the application, we knew what we wanted to design, and how we already figured out how we were going to make it that is why we were able to get up with a number of features at first based on our customer’s insights regarding the application.
Below is a short description of the features that came with the first version of the application which would be released as an MVP to be shared with prospective investors.
The Residents feature is very simple and straightforward. Just like the name denotes, it’s literally a list of all Estate residents.
The list has their names, avatar and their professions, and the ability to send them a message. However, clicking on an individual resident pulls out their full information such as their Bio, Religion, block members, and other relevant info that they may have provided when they were onboarded via the administrative panel.
The point of the Residents list is to bring a sense of community and togetherness within the estate.
So being able to directly message a Co-resident reduces the barrier of not being able to check up on a fellow resident.
Also, for security reasons, a resident can temporarily or permanently block another resident from messaging them because apart from trying to create a community, there’s also the need to make the environment safe from harassment and unsolicited messages.
Another hard decision we took was about the inclusion of all the residents’ bio including their religion, profession, gender, age, and so forth.
While they can refuse to fill out the entire form in totality, the point is to make everyone transparent. So everyone knows about everyone.
Someone might be in urgent need of a medical doctor or a plumber within the estate and if there’s a co-resident doing that profession (more on this later), it’ll be easy to just talk to them rather than seeking a third-party service provider from elsewhere.
The payment system is a way to collect levies and dues from estate residents with ease.
There are always going to be dues and bills to pay pertaining to the estate such as electricity bills or generator maintenance, waste bills, water bills, security bills, and so forth.
This platform offers a simple way to make those payments easy for residents without even lifting a finger.
Initially, we thought about incorporating a full-blown wallet system within the application so that residents can load the wallet and payments can be automatically deducted from their accounts but due to the fact that we were trying to keep simple and the system simple as well, that wasn’t an option.
Another reason why I didn’t do that was because there won’t necessarily be a central body behind be entire system. Both the Administrative functions and client functions will be deployed to whatever Estate needs them. So there won’t be a need for complicated features that could potentially lead to security mayhem.
So my approach was to show all the estate bills in a list format as created by the administrator of that individual estate. Those bills will have their schedule (weekly, monthly, yearly… etc) and residents get in-app and push notifications whenever a bill is coming close to being paid.
Payment is made to the designated accounts which are also provided within the interface and the confirmation is sent over to the Admin just to confirm even though payment is made to a public account owned by the estate administration which means that details of everyone that pays will be sent to the Admin.
Now, there are two kinds of payment in the system. The first is what has been discussed above (Estate Bills) but the second is contribution.
So the app client also wanted a situation whereby funds can easily be raised for anyone in need at a particular time. Remember the essence of the App is to create a sense of community among fellow residents.
So a contributory target is set by the Admin upon the request of whoever needs the donation and everyone within the estate are notified of this.
Then anyone who wishes to donate can donate their own token to the provided account.
To combat fraud, reasons for requesting donations are very limited so that the system will not be abused or misused.
Meetings are very important and that is why this feature is baked into the system. By default, meeting schedules pertaining to the estate get created by the administrator at the backend and it becomes a schedule on the application whereby residents get notified whenever the time of the such meeting is drawing close.
However, not all estate dwellers (different dwellers within the estate have different names/roles and permissions which will determine their involvement in decision-making situations within the estate) will be involved in all kinds of meetings.
When meetings are being created, depending on the size of the estate, residents can be grouped depending on their blocks which are literally like miniature streets within the estate.
So as mentioned earlier, depending on the meetings that a resident is required to attend, they will see the list on the Meetings UI page and upon clicking on a single meeting, they can see all the full info of that said meetings such as the schedules, meeting organizer, and fellow attendees.
Another thing to note is the fact that Administrators won’t be the only ones that can create meetings but the privilege wí be limited to a select few. Just as mentioned earlier, meetings can be broken into different blocks depending on the size of the estate so as to make commuting easy for residents.
That way, everyone won’t have the same schedule depending on their group’s block meeting organizer.
The panic feature is meant to help residents in distress get the emergency help needed immediately when it is.
So the panic system is quite simple and straightforward. By default, there are key services within the estate that they have emergency access to such as Fire service, Medical services, and Security services. So depending on the situation, they can simply click on either of these buttons and it will trip off the alarm at the respective office.
Then they can set up three family members as their next of kin (NOK) who can easily be alerted by just clicking on the button representing each member and the family member will get an SMS alert, automated Phone call, or an emergency alarm if they have the Trupass app on their device (assuming they are block members or co-resident within the same Estate).
The Panic system is also one of the key features of the application which is why it earned a place on the home screen of the App so that residents can easily notify the necessary channels of the kind of emergency they are in.
For a co-resident who has been registered as an NoK, the intrusive emergency alert takes over their device’s UI, and when the alert gets to them (assuming they are connected to the internet at that moment…else, they’ll be getting an SMS or an automated phone call) and they can use the UI to view the direction to the location where the panic alert was set off.
Everyone gets visitors but in order to keep visitations and appointments regulated for security purposes in the context of the application, a visitor needs to be onboarded while the resident provides details about the visitor such as their avatar, their full name, age, and other necessary information relative to the particular estate.
Also, the resident must provide the day of visitation and the exit date for the visitor. This will then generate a QR code for that visitor and it can be shared with them.
This will be used by the visitor as a secure pass whenever anytime they’re coming into the estate’s premises.
When the exit day reaches, the QR stops working and the visitor will not be permitted into the estate’s premises unless the resident extends or reschedule the visitor’s visitation once again.
The design of the user interface is very simple and straightforward. Upon opening, the resident can see a list of visitors invited and their status to know whether they are within the estate premises or not.
They can also see the history of past visitors in order to know when they came and left and so forth.
Each block may have co-residents that aren’t necessarily registered as the primary residents which is why the “Block members” feature is important.
The point is to showcase people who a resident lives with who are secondary residents in the estate.
For example, a resident’s children, spouse, partner, parents, domestic worker, and so forth.
This is to give them a pass into the estate’s premises which, unlike Visitors, their own duration doesn’t expire unless the primary resident removes them or the primary resident leaves the estate.
Information gotten about block members are almost identical to those gotten from visitors and that includes their name, gender, age, and so forth. The design of the interface is also straightforward just like every other part of the application.
A simple list of users and their status and their type of residents (spouse, children, parents…etc). There is also the ability to view other residents’ block members via the second tab on the list interface.
7. Access Card
To gain permission into the estate’s premises, every resident, block member, and visitor has required to have an access Card that they need to scan in order to allow them permission into the estate’s premises.
The system works as a tablet is mounted at the entrance of the estate entrance and a user is required to scan their QR card which is like their access card. From there, they get access to the estate’s premises.
However, for quick use, I decided to include the access Card which is basically a scannable QR on the app’s homepage as part of an important feature of the app.
They can also request a physical access card which is based on the virtual format but printed on a plastic card for quick scanning.
8. Safety Numbers
One of the importance of the Trupass system is to provide security and a sense of community among residents within an estate which is why safety Numbers are provided to users in order to quickly alert the necessary authorities when in need.
For example, there are services such as Police, ambulance, fire service, and a family member.
This feature is quite similar to the panic feature except it’s for external services which aren’t necessarily within the estate’s system.
Someone may need to contact the police or the general firefighters for an emergency situation that is beyond the scope of the estate’s management agencies.
Also, the system basically initiates a GSM phone call to those government agencies. I also designed an internal phone call UI within the application even though users can initiate those phone calls using their smartphone’s native phone app.
Because when everyone boarded the platform, they are required to provide their professions, this generates a library of professions on the app so that residents can request the service of other residents within the estate if they’re available.
This feature also extends the community-focused uniqueness of the application. Although in the privacy setting, a resident can decide to hide from the professional directory for privacy reasons.
The Entry Application
The Entry application of Trupass is a cutting-edge solution that was designed to provide residents of estates with a fast, efficient, and secure way of gaining access to their respective premises.
The application is meant to special help reduce the amount of time that residents would typically spend interacting with estate security agents at the gate.
One of the key benefits of the Trupass Entry application is that it enables residents to easily scan their virtual cards upon arrival at the estate gate.
This allows for a seamless and hassle-free entry experience that helps to save time and improve efficiency.
With the use of this application, residents can be sure of quick and smooth passage through the estate gate without having to wait for long periods or encounter unnecessary delays.
The Trupass Entry application works by automatically verifying the resident’s status on the Admin system.
When a resident scans their virtual card, the application checks their status and determines whether or not they should be allowed to enter the estate’s premises.
For example, if the resident is up to date with their estate bills and their virtual card is valid, they will be allowed entry.
However, if they have any outstanding bills or their virtual card has expired, they will be required to go through a longer physical permission process before being allowed entry.
One of the major benefits of the Trupass Entry application is that it helps to improve the security of the estate. By automatically verifying residents’ virtual cards, the application ensures that only authorized individuals are allowed entry into the premises.
This helps to prevent unauthorized access and helps to ensure that the estate’s residents and property remain safe and secure at all times.
In addition to improving security, the Trupass Entry application also helps to reduce the workload of estate security agents. With the application in place, security agents can focus on other important tasks, such as monitoring the premises, ensuring the safety of residents, and responding to emergencies. This helps to improve overall efficiency and productivity, which can lead to cost savings and other benefits.
Another key benefit of the Trupass Entry application is that it is user-friendly and easy to use.
I designed the app with an intuitive interface that makes it easy for residents to scan their virtual cards and gain entry into the estate. This helps to improve the overall user experience and ensures that residents are satisfied with the service they receive.
The Trupass Entry application is also highly customizable, which means that it can be tailored to meet the specific needs of different estates. The application can be configured to allow for different levels of access, depending on the individual resident’s status on the Admin system. This ensures that the application is highly flexible and can be adapted to meet the unique requirements of different estates.
Overall, the Trupass Entry application is a highly innovative and effective solution that provides residents of estates with a fast, efficient, and secure way of gaining entry into their respective premises.
As such, the Trupass Entry application is an excellent choice for estate managers who are looking to improve the overall experience of their residents while also enhancing the security and productivity of their estate.
As the solo Product Designer of the Trupass project, there were several important lessons that I learned from the design of the application.
Firstly, I knew the importance of prioritizing user experience in my design processes. The success of the application like every other application on the market ultimately depends on how well it meets the needs and expectations of its users.
As such, it is essential to conduct thorough user research and testing throughout the design process to ensure that the final product is easy to use, intuitive, and meets the needs of its target audience. That I followed helped me understand the user needs and wants in full detail which helped me to create a viable product that was easy to design and develop.
Secondly, I learned the importance of paying close attention to the details of the application’s design. Small details such as the layout, typography, color schemes, and iconography can all have a significant impact on the overall user experience.
As such, I learned that it was important to invest time and effort in refining the design of these elements to ensure that they are consistent, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to understand.
Thirdly, I understood the importance of working closely with the development team throughout the design process. Effective communication and collaboration between the design and development teams helped to ensure that the final product is delivered on time, within budget, and met the necessary technical requirements.
Fourthly, I learned about the importance of being flexible and adaptable throughout the design process. As new information becomes available or requirements change, I knew I had to make the necessary modifications to the design of the application in order to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of its users and stakeholders.
Finally, I learned the importance of a data-driven approach during the design process. Collecting and analyzing data on user behavior and preferences provided me with valuable insights into how to improve the application’s design and functionality.
As such, I knew the importance of incorporating data analysis into the design process in order to ensure that the final product is optimized for user satisfaction and engagement.
All in all, the design phase of Trupass was a blast and the app is currently in the development phase.