An Insight into trying to create Australia’s most usable safety app

The Trials & Tribulations of Trying to Create & Update a Usable Safety App.

Since the beginning of WSG it has been our mission to create, not only Australia’s most usable safety app but to make it the best professionally monitored safety app on the market. As our updated WSG safety app is due out in the next week or so, we thought it would be a good time to share with you in the trials and tribulations that go with app development. WorkSafe Guardian is 18 months young and we have learnt a lot in our quest to create Australia’s most usable safety app. We take feedback from our users, their managers, and our response centre experts, to make tweaks and create features that provide an overall better experience for everyone.

A laptop open on a desk with business insights open on the screen in an attempt to build Australia's most usable safety app for people who work alone.

What we Have Developed from User Feedback.

With the feedback of our users in mind, we have set out in this version of the safety app to provide a selectable sound library. We found that some users didn’t always hear their welfare timer notification or other alerts. The new sound library was designed to combat this. What this means is that the sounds are louder and more distinctive. This decreases the chances that the alert will be missed. This addition will also reduce the number of avoidable false alerts and unwarranted communications with other users.

Another area where we have tweaked the app, to avoid false alerts and unnecessary user calls, is the shake alert. We strongly believe in the necessity of this feature, especially for usability. If there was a real safety concern, there isn’t always time to open the app and press the safety button. The fastest way to escalate an alert is by shaking the phone. Prior to our new features, the safety shake feature could activate as the phone was bouncing around inside a pocket or a handbag. Our developers have now added an option of a number of shakes required in a selected period. This feature together with our sensitivity trigger gives the user more choice as well as again reducing unwarranted alerts.

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Coding & Publishers.

There is a lot of background code that has been tidied up and added to increase stability, and for compliance with our publishers (Apple & Google). They update the guidelines to boost user experience on their devices as well as leveraging the features in new versions of their software/operating systems. I have to say, this round of submissions to the publishers had some testing times. Their software changes and compliance guidelines left us with concerns that we would lose some of safety app’s features. But these features are what make it such a usable safety app.

When we first started WorkSafe Guardian there were grandiose ideas of what we could do with a safety app. Sadly, the reality is, there are a lot of rules with what can and cannot be done. For example, using the home button on the iPhone. The rules are there to protect users and the brand, and we certainly have learnt a lot since starting. The high standards enforced by Apple and Google are our commitment to quality as developers.

Three business women sit around a meeting desk with their computers discussing Australia's most usable safety app for people who work alone.

The Release of the New Version of the WSG Safety App

So after 6 weeks of highs and lows, going backwards and forward, working with publishers, we have our updated WSG safety app waiting for release. So, why isn’t it out yet? Like all good things, it takes time. Time to coordinate with the other areas of WSG that we have been hard at work on. One of the reasons the app isn’t released yet is that we recently made a series of “how to” videos. The hiccup is, we have had to make changes to the app during development, which means we needed to make changes to the video. The good news; this is almost done.

We have our new promo video live on our website homepage www.worksafeguardian.com.au, which was made in conjunction with the how-to videos and gives a good idea of the style of the videos to come.

A man is at a meeting, he has set a welfare timer on his WSG app since he is out of the office working alone with a client. The app has prompted him to check-in and alert the monitoring centre that he is safe, one of the reasons WSG is Australia's most usable safety app.

Thanks for all the Support.

Thank you for staying with us and backing us. We are striving to build not only Australia’s most usable safety app, but the absolute best professionally monitored safety app on the market. Please keep the feedback rolling in, we are always listening and improving wherever we can. Thanks as well to the team at MackBel Films for the amazing job they did with our new videos, and Sam Oster at Silver Trace photography for the beautiful photos we have to work with. We can’t thank them enough for their professionalism and understanding of our vision.

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