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Design Project, Early 2015


Emergency Medical Technician's shift starts with 1-2 hours of ambulance equipment check. Missing any equipment can be critical in emergency situations. However, the check process is often done with a paper and a pen filled with long lists of items with checkboxes. Sometimes, they have no time to finish the check, and run to take care of their patients.

Improving ambulance equipment check

Rig-it aimed to streamline the process of checking both the equipment inside the main cab and the back of the ambulance, in addition to maintaining the vehicle itself.

Final DeliverableApplication Walkthrough

In addition to final walkthrough prototype, we put design document together for the application. This document explains target audience, purpose, functionality and backend requirements.

View Design Specification Document


Rig-it focuses on three key functionsChecklists are divided into a few sections based on the ambulance compartment. EMTs(Emergency Medical Technicians) go through each section, teamed up in two people. We provided the list based on these compartments. EMTs can jump between items or mark items as to be replenished.

Add to replenish itemThis acts as a 'shopping' list for when they are going through the check.
Check existing itemWhen a section has been completed, it will be grayed out, but the user can still click on it.
Skip item to check laterUsers can skip the item to bring this at the end of the list.

Provide positive feedback loop

One of the key insights that we learned from our user research was the lack of appreciation in EMTs works. Even though Emergency Medical Technicians were aware of the importance of their work, they were discouraged by people treating them as drivers. In addition, Emergency Medical Technicians were strongly tied into their community sharing their experiences. Motivated by this, we pitched the 'Send Thanks' function. This will also encourage the EMTs to help the next shifts to refill the items that they couldn't get replenished.

Mobile Prototype
Send ThanksOn Thanks Page, the user will be able to see the thank you messages from other EMT crew members. At the top, there is a count of the number of thanks that the user has received.
Mobile Prototype
Heads Up ItemHeades Up item lists are on the top of the list when the EMTs starts their shift and allows them to go through separate from the rest of the items.

Research Process

Secondary Research

To understand EMTs' daily bases works, we conducted online researches by joining their social networks, communities as well as watching videos explaining their works. We've got some insights after this basic research.

  • Long DowntimesUntil when they receive a call from a 911 call taker, they have to wait. A lot of times EMTs are having a long downtimes, which they are suffering with.
  • Lack of Appreciation on EMTsEven though their job is crucial in saving people's lives, sometimes they are disappointed by people treating them as drivers.
  • Strong EMT CommunitiesThere are a huge EMT communities online including local groups. They share their stories and articles related to their works and lives.
  • Tedious Equipment Check ProcessThey spend the first 1-2 hours of shift with checking equipments in the ambulance, making sure all the required equipments are in place otherwise, they replenish them.

Phone and E-mail Interviews

To get an in-depth information about EMTs and Rig-Check procedure, I had an interview with a previous EMT from my connection. My team formed questions all together and narrowed them down to get good information in 20 minutes. Below are the insights that we got from the interview and the email questionnaire.

Ambulance equipment checks usually take around 1 - 2 hours in the beginning of the shift.

  • I would like to change it up with rig checks meaning sometimes I would check the back and other days the front. This will help you be very comfortable with the ambulance you are in.
  • Usually, the checklist was set up in a system conducive to the way the compartments were set up so you did not have a scattered list. It started at the back bottom compartment and ended with the front top compartment.
  • There were times that emergency calls interrupted your rig check, but afterwards, you would still have to complete it, it was part of the work assignment daily. Your crew chief would look for each of them daily.
  • The rig check is done at the beginning of each shift. Usually at the ambulance base, there is a supply closet that could supplement anything you did not obtain.It is up to the crew to replace ALL supplies.
  • If you set the app right, when they hit the 'Complete' button, it could automatically print out in the office and go directly into the completed rig check file.

Layout of the app

Accuracy focused layout

While designing Interface for Rig-it application, we wanted to make sure... tapping any buttons that wasn't intended should be avoided. Accuracy in using the application is important for the ambulance equipment check to be thorough. Therefore, we designed the UI with only key functions, providing enough space for EMTs to tap on. Also, we grouped different functions in three sections of voice recognition, item information and item check.

Rigit UI Grid Design

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