in collaboration with maria mahdessian, mariana leyton,
chloé raymond and sarah denis
Hearted was created in a critical design course and it is an app designed to aid people who find themselves trapped in a domestic violence relationship. The whole application design, and the way it is made known to victims, was carefully thought out to ensure their safety. The app itself mimics a calculator, in order to stay hidden from the aggressor and make sure that he or she is not aware that the victim is seeking for help, since that can put the latter in a dangerous situation. In order to get into the app, the user must tap “ 1×0= “ , which is an equation that no one would feel the need to calculate. If said equation is not entered, the app acts as a normal calculator. Once in the app, there is a calculator button on every page that allows the user to jump back to the calculator screen.
The app itself is a resource center for domestic violence victims. It has multiple sections such as emotional exercises to boost the self esteem, FAQ to see whether or not the user is in an abusive relationship, a forum where the user can speak to others in a similar situation and a resource center with multiple organizations that help victims of domestical violence.
From the start, we knew that this is a sort of app that we couldn’t advertise, because it can quickly become a target place for bullies and aggressors. To make sure that the victim is not put into any additional danger, we printed out the application’s access information on little tags meant to be discarded after the information is acquired. Those tags are all attached to little objects that seem useless and ordinary, to not raise any suspicions. The idea is that the tags would be passed to victims in help centers or by health professionals, who suspect that their patients are situated in an abusive relationship, either because of reoccurring injuries or simply by seeing the behavior between them and their partner.