British Red Cross mobile App

The average UK household is currently more likely to get flooded than burgled. How can a digital product or service help people prepare for, respond to, or recover from floods in the UK?

Flooding can cost the economy up to £100,000 per hour per major road affected. As many as 40% of businesses do not reopen after suffering from a flood. Mental health and impacts of flooding can be prevalent for more than 2 years. In this context our team was asked to rethink the flooding related section of the British Red Cross mobile app in order to target the main painpoints involved with the process of tackling a flooding and fix the flaws that the current British Red Cross mobile app was presenting.


TypeMobile App
DeviceMobile only
IndustryCharity, Public Service
ToolsProcreate, Marvel, Miro, Slack, Overflow, paper prototyping


    Around 2.4 million UK properties are at risk from river and coastal flooding each year. A further 2.8 million UK properties are susceptible to surface water flooding and 1 in 6 properties are located in areas where there is a significant risk of flooding. The new British Red Cross app was conceived with the idea to achieve a more effective communication with users that find themselves in danger due to flooding.


  1. Design Artifacts:
    – Hypoteses statements
    – Report with user insights
    – Prototypes
    – User Flows
  2. Presentations:
    – Insights from discovery research
    – Walkthrough of design process
    – Evidence of iteration based on insights from research
    – Samples of design artifacts

My Role

On this project my role was very hands on as I was in charge of the execution of most operative tasks, from interviewees recruiting (I set up a Google form which I then posted on flooding related Facebook groups), to running interviews, from drawing user journeys and paper sketches to protoyping on Marvel and then user tesing.


Most of the times victims of flooding are faced with unforseen events they have no preparation for, adding the difficulty of not knowing what to do to the stress related to being a victim of a flooding. At the time of our involvement the British Red Cross mobile app wan’t solving this problem. A new approach was needed in order to completely reshape the experience users face when interacting with the tools at their disposal and the processes of redesigning the user experience needed to start from scratch with fresh new ideas.


British Red Cross Mobile App UX Design Case Study

Since a completely new concept was needed we started with hypoteses statements based on user insights we obtained through user research and interviews to actual victims of floodings. We did so by recurring heavily to the 5 WHYs method and other standards for UX interviews.
Interviewees were recruited mainly on Facebook Groups, through acquaintances and enquiring among our social media networks.
We then proceeded to arrange all the insights through an empathy mapping graph and processed research findings by:

  • defining a shared list of findings agreed by the whole team as a unique ‘source of truth’
  • discovering pain points/unmet needs and set a priority list for how to tackle them
  • sharing key findings and research strategies with stakeholders
  • organizing all the knowledge base in one place

Based on the above it was rather clear there were three typical use cases with very specific pain points which needed response.

This needed to lead to a fork in the user journey depending on whether it happens as a preparation for the flood or as a resource during a flood (after the flood stage being less time sensitive).

This allowed us to define with clarity what steps in the journey were essential to tackle the main pain points and thus procede with the initial sketches.

User Journey

After some iterations the team were ready for user testing and digitized the sketches moving them to Marvel App to obtain a lo-fi prototype which allowed us to perform user testing.

This testing iteration allowed the team to develop a more detailed User Flow which we developed in Overflow as a preliminary step for our hi-fi prototype.

Happy Path for British Red Cross mobile app-V1.0 (Overflow)

Based on this user flow we were able to identify the weaknesses in our design that had caused flaws during testing, this lead to a new iteration, additional testing and, eventually the final iteration.


Initially our research on users showed a tendency to underestimate the risks associated with floodings and subsequent alerts. Stakeholders had already observed that the current British Red Cross app was not tackling this problem, which thing was causing those affected to find themselves not prepared for the event. Our job consisted on finding ways to improve British Red Cross app based on flooding response data to help users tackle floods more succesfully.