Raise it people will reach you

Feb 2016

What is Flag?

An alternate idea for #tag which results spam (most of the times) and memes during search in emergency. The fundamental idea is to let the user to mark a flag in a common pool during any natural calamities, so that volunteers could reach them with relevant/requested aid materials. 'Aid request' and 'Contact details' must be categorized based on zip code for easy reach.

This is a temporary option which is like facebook's 'mark you are safe during natural calamities' or 'dp color change to support any cause'. Facebook or Twitter or any popular social media will have a huge amount of region specific data. This idea 'Flag' could be implemented as add-on feature on region and time specific.

Background of this idea:

When Chennai was flooded during monsoon in Dec 2015, popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp played a very major role in connecting Volunteers and flood victims. This led to faster recovery from the flood. Few volunteers used google docs to update information on aid materials (stock and places) availability.

Many social network groups were created and trended with the help of #tags like #chennairain, #chennaiflood2015, #tnrain, etc. Volunteers were actively communicated among the groups and searched relevant information with the help of #tags. The downside was the equal volume of memes and teaser posts were started to increase along with the aid information. This increased the frustration during 'information search'.

Problem Statement:

#Tag results equal amount of spam (memes) over the relevant post, that increase the time to find right information, which leads to frustration.

The below task flow help to understand the search process of a volunteer, who looks for contacts in flood affected areas to distribute aid materials.


User Goal:

General Tasks:

  1. Search
  2. Connect
  3. Help/Seek help

Critical Success Factors:

User should reach the right information within 30 seconds.

Types of Users:

Based on the research in social networks, 3 types of users were identified.

People who wish to help the victims with aid materials and people who wish to do volunteering activities like packing the food, distributing the food to affected areas.


Help Seeker
People who severely affected by the flood and people who are relocated to temporary refugees or rescue centers.


People from the flood affected places takes initiatives to ensure NGO and other volunteers help their area/street people with aid materials.





Jaya Lakshmi

'I am looking for volunteers/representatives who could collect the aid materials from me to distribute in more flood affected regions'
  • Jaya works as a team leader in a private IT firm. She is very jovial and socially engaging person. She volunteer many NGOs through the CSR club in her company.
  • Age: 26
  • Occupation: Software Engineer
  • Status: Single
  • Residential Area: Georg Town
  • Archetype: Organizer
  • Quickly reach volunteers or help seeker to help with aid materials.
  • To identify place where more aid materials and volunteering is required.
  • The satisfaction in helping others when they are in need Connect with more the social workers to address more social issues.
  • Piled-up with spam which leads long scroll/flicks in social networks
  • Messages/posts without time stamp shared by many others creates confusion

Help Seeker



'I am staying in rescue center, as my house is flooded. I am looking for milk for my kid and aid materials for my family'
  • Kavitha is an auto rickshaw driver makes her family (4 members) survive with her daily wages. She quit her graduation, on account of her poverty. She is a mom for 1 year old kid. Comfortable in using smartphones, as she uses Ola and Uber mobile application as a part of her work.
  • Age: 27
  • Occupation: Auto Driver
  • Status: Married
  • Residential Area: Thiruvotriyur
  • Archetype: Single Parent
  • To find someone who could help her and her family with food, water and milk.
  • To ensure food and milk for her family Put her family in a safe situation.
  • When she receive ‘Stock got over’ as reply for her comment on seeking help through Facebook.




'I am looking for donor from whom I could collect the aid material to distribute to people in my street or neighbors'
  • Dillip, works as a customer support executive in a private call center firm. He is good in leadership and interested in social work. He always come forward to help, when there is an issue in his street or situation to volunteer.
  • Age: 30
  • Occupation: DTP Operator
  • Status: Single
  • Residential Area: Thiruvotriyur
  • Archetype: Social Worker
  • To look for people who could provide aid materials in bulk quantity.
  • To help people in his street which is stranded by flood water.
  • Loaded with memes and not getting the post with information on aid materialsSame messages/posts are circulated by many others

Realtime User Feedbacks collected:

Internet Research:

Random Feeds from social networks on user needs, request, volunteers and tips.

Item Categorization:

The below aid material grouping is based on the request posted in Facebook and Tweets in twitter.

Doctors & Medicine

  • Doctor Name
  • Area
  • Landmark
  • Contact Number
  • Specialization
  • Medicine
  • Blood
  • Nebulizer
  • Oxygen Cylinder
  • Sanitary Napkins
  • Women Innerwear
  • Baby diapers


  • Milk Powder
  • Milk
  • Diapers
  • Baby dresses

Food & Water

  • Food Packets
  • Water Bottles
  • Food Point

Emergency Contacts

  • Rescue Boats
  • Doctors / Hospitals
  • Ambulance
  • Fire

Shelters & Relief Centers

  • Shelter donor
  • Contact Number
  • Landmark
  • Relief center
  • Area Name
  • Landmark

Battery & Chargers

  • Power Bank
  • Mobile Charger
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Torch Light

Volunteer & Warehouse List

  • Volunteer Name / Team Name
  • Area
  • Mobile Number
  • Associated with
  • Warehouse contact Person
  • Area - Pincode
  • Mobile Number
  • Available stock and count

Idea to achieve Critical Success Factor:


Scenario 1:

Dillip (Representative) whose street is stranded for more than 3 days is looking for people who can help with blankets (at least 15) for his neighbors. He is searching in Facebook with #chennairain, #tnrain, #chennaiflood. He receives pile of posts as search result. He is contacting people who posted that they can help with aid materials. But unfortunately he can't get any blankets, as most of the volunteers are very far from his place and few don’t have the stock at the moment.

Dillip is clicking flag option from his Facebook wall and raising a help request by selecting the blanket from the aid material category and clicking 'I need'. His request is being raised and he receives flag suggested volunteers nearby his place who can help with blankets. He is contacting one among the suggested volunteers and confirms his request for blankets. An acknowledgement is being sent to both Representative and Volunteer.

Scenario 2:

Jaya (Volunteer) wish to help with power banks for people from flood affected regions. Since water log is prevailing more than a week, the electricity has been shut down in most of the places. She look in her Facebook wall and check for any post related to mobile charger or electricity. She could not find any. She is leaving a post in her wall, mentioning she could help with power bank.

Jaya opens flag from her Facebook wall and selecting power bank from the aid category and she clicks 'I have'. She is suggested with people in her neighboring area. She contacts one among the Flag suggested help seeker.

Journey Maps:

Jaya (Volunteer) who wish to help people in flood affected areas. She search in Facebook to find people from more affected region to give the aid materials which be bought from the nearby shop.


Conceptual Model:


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