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Zoteria. A digital solution that raises awareness of LGBT hate crime.

Summary

Motivated by the fact that most LGBTQ+ hate crime goes unreported, Vodafone Foundation wanted to develop an app to help people from the community and its allies raise awareness of LGBTQ+ motivated hate crime, provide them with a way to report abusive incidents and access support when they need it most.

Challenge

Vodafone Foundation, in partnership with Stonewall and Galop, wanted to create an app that helped members of the LGBTQ+ community report incidents of hate crime.

New research from Vodafone found that more than two-thirds (68%) of LGBTQ+ respondents had been victims of hate crime in the last year, and more than a quarter (27%) had been physically injured by an attack. But three quarters (75%) of respondents say they haven’t reported the incident because they felt it was too minor (53%) or didn’t trust the authorities to take it seriously or do anything about it (42%). An overwhelming 87% of LGBTQ+ said they would welcome a simple method, like an app, to access help and advice and report such incidents.

Too often, incidents go unreported due to victims not realising what constitutes a hate crime or because the journey to reporting is typically difficult; victims may need to relive the incident, and reporting may involve the police. We needed to design a reporting journey that was fast, reassuring and instantly connected victims to the best support available.

Before any building could take place though, a deeper understanding of what would really help and bring value to future users was required - research that would allow us to create the right app, and not the wrong solution, while also validating it with real users before launch.

Testimonial

Testimonial from Nancy Kelley, Chief Executive

“We wanted to create an app that encourages the community and its allies to step up, come together and be empowered.”

Vision

We set out to leverage our research expertise, conducting workshops with Vodafone Foundation and Stonewall to understand the vision and goals for the app, including what similar services existed, as well as co-creation workshops to understand the positive experience users could expect from using the service.

We validated the outputs of our workshops by speaking with the community through interviews and focus groups, giving them visual prototypes to explore and provide feedback on.

Finally, we provided Vodafone Foundation with the structure and product strategy to define and develop a clear value proposition that would resonate with the target audience and its needs: Zoteria empowers the LGBTQ+ community, and allies, to tackle the issue of LGBTQ+ hate incidents together.

Zoteria Interface Designs of the Support Customer Journey

Change

After defining the problem space, our team incorporated their user experience and interface design expertise to create the actual app.

We employed a process called Protobranding - a lean and fast way to create a new brand identity, by focusing effort on what is needed to design the experience. We ran co-creation workshops with Vodafone Foundation, Stonewall and the community to identify a name for the app, its personality, principles and tone of voice. We then built a lean brand toolkit, including logo, typography, colours and imagery to enable us to design the interface.

We reviewed similar services to see where there is space for a new visual identity in the market, before exploring various creative routes with the community. Finally, we created a prototype for a segment of the experience to take through proposition testing, to see where improvements could be made to the concept, offering and visual identity before moving into full build.

Zoteria will provide a far more accurate view on the extent of hate crimes across the UK. Anonymised regional and city data will be available to local authorities so they can better understand the issue within their region. Data will also help highlight the issues faced by LGBTQ+ people from ethnic minorities, with recent UK studies suggesting specific barriers to support and wellbeing from the impact of racism and homophobia. The app also provides access to other vital support services, including LGBTQ+ advice, mental health and sexual health services, and information on local LGBTQ+ events to help people stay connected with their local communities.

Together with Vodafone Foundation, we’ve created the first user-friendly, one-stop-shop for reporting hate crime, gaining access to support services and connecting with the wider LGBTQ+ community.

Zoteria Interface Designs of the Events Journey
Zoteria Being Used On Mobile Device

Outcome

As Vodafone Foundation introduces Zoteria into more markets, the aim is to create an increasingly safer world for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.

With every new incident reported, and with every support service offered, the empowering connection within a community is strengthened. And, an often unheard voice becomes louder and prouder.

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