Personal safety app effectiveness

Mike Just, Alette Willis, Hasmeet Chandok, Raghav Sampangi, Kirstie Hawkey, Jeya Balaji Samuthiravelu, Dilpreet Gill, Michael Altair

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

We present the results of our study of people's responses to unsafe scenarios with personal safety apps. Several such apps have been developed, offering features such as a location-sharing panic button. However, there is little research into how people might respond in different personal safety situations, and how such apps might contribute to their response. We performed a lab study with 30 participants and used semi-structured interviews to gather responses to a set of three increasingly risky scenarios, both before and after the installation of a personal safety app. From our results, participants stated that they would use mobile phones and personal safety apps most often to support “collective” responses, with calls to others for assistance. Further, while collective responses were often combined with “avoidance” or “protective” responses, when using a personal safety app, collective responses were less often combined with other reaction types. Overall, our results suggest some potential benefit from personal safety apps, though more study is required.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI EA 2019 - Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359719
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2019
Event2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 May 20199 May 2019

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • app effectiveness
  • crime
  • personal safety app
  • unsafe situation


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