danique de bies
matthijs nolst trenité
kent de bruin
feb - jun 2020
ux- / ui-design
digitising the investigative process of the forensic research team of traffic offenses
The Forensic team for Traffic Accidents of the Dutch National Police aims to uncover the truth about accidents through different lines of investigation. From January to June 2020, we collaborated with the team to see how a digital tool could help them in their investigative process.
How can we streamline the investigative process of the Forensic Research team of Traffic Offenses in terms of decision making, communication and collaboration?
We gained an understanding of our users through desk research, on-site observations and user interviews.
We discovered that the investigative process can be seen as outdated. As most of the work is done on paper, investigators spend about 90% of their working time on administrative tasks. Without a central communication platform, they struggle to actively communicate and collaborate in their work. Investigations aren't as streamlined as they could be, due to a lack of innovation.
To learn about the process in more detail, we organised a 'Process Origami' workshop, a self-made research method based on the Business Origami. In this, we let investigators map out their investigation based on a timeline and map to find all steps of the process and see how stakeholders were connected in this.
By asking questions such as "Can you elaborate?" and "Why is that?", we were able to gain a deeper understanding of the situation and gather detailed insights.
Based on all the research we created several concepts to explore. In the end, we created a knowledge management system supporting the process from the moment an accident happens to the final case file delivery.
In the concepting phase, I was mainly responsible for the initial mapping by first responders and digitising the checklist for first-line investigators on the street.
In the first phase of our concept (and the investigation), street officers go to the accident to give a description of the situation. Investigators decide whether research is needed based on this.
To avoid miscommunication as much as possible, we replaced this step with a mobile interface in the existing Police app. In this, first responders share photos and answer a series of pre-set questions to describe the accident.
As first-line investigators arrive at the scene of the incident, they have to document their findings. First, they used a paper checklist for this, but this asked for a lot more time spent on administration, as it had to be digitised later.
We replaced this with a checklist on tablet, in which investigators can check which evidence they've found and immediately add visual documentation to it.
A highlight of this project was having the chance to test in context. We joined first-line investigators to the scene of an accident to see how introducing a tablet would work on site.
The test mainly helped us in tweaks in accessibility. A dark mode was added to our designs to make working night shifts as comfortable as day shifts.
This project was part of the Master Digital Design (2020) of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with the Dutch National Police.