Living with Guns

This project was part of a 5 week sprint in attempt to develop a method of intervening in a wicked problem. By definition, a wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of the lack of knowledge, the number of stakeholders involved, the economic burden associated with the problem, and the interconnected nature of the problem with other problems. The wicked problem I focused on was Living with Guns. The purpose of the sprint was to not only develop a method of intervening in a wicked problem, but also improve my design process through agile thinking and problem solving. 


Understanding Context

I started my process by trying to understand the context of guns in America. I created a stakeholder map and systems diagram as tools to help visualize and understand the system associated with the problem. 


Sample pamphlets and printed material distributed by the police

Understanding People

I chose to narrow in on a particular stakeholder as an area of focus within the system. I wanted to focus on the police and the role they play within the wicked problem because they would provide a rich perspective in terms of gun control, legislation, and criminal activity involving guns and other firearms. 

After interviewing members of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Carnegie Mellon Police Department, I learned that the biggest pain point officers, sergeants, and detectives face when dealing with guns is educating civilians on the safety precautions and procedures of owning guns. According to the officers I interviewed, people are careless and do not take the necessary precautions when it comes to owning guns. People do not lock their guns in a gun safe at home, or they will leave their guns in their cars and other vehicles while in public, resulting in theft and illegal possession of guns. 

The detectives at the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police gave me some sample pamphlets and printed material they use to educate and facilitate workshops with civilians on gun safety. The printed materials themselves are poorly designed, and are not as effective at teaching people gun safety principles. I saw this as an opportunity to intervene into the wicked problem, and create a tool to help the police educate civilians and help legal gun owners understand the safety principles and precautions needed when owning a gun. 


Concept Development

I began developing my concept by creating a persona that reflects the goals and pain points of the police officers, sergeants, and detectives I interviewed. I then sketched my concept, and developed wireframes for a mobile application.


Final Concept

The final design concept, called Gun Safety, is a tool created to help the police educate civilians and help gun owners understand the safety precautions and procedures needed when owning guns. It combines gun safety information from pamphlets and other printed media into a unified, digital user experience. The mobile application also takes inspiration from other apps that focus on interactive learning experiences.