A Discreet And Inclusive Way To Report On Sensitive Topics


A discreet and inclusive way to report on sensitive topics


CAVIA was built with one vision in mind, to give individuals in communities affected by sexual exploitation, abuse, and HIV a platform to be heard. In collaboration with AIDS-Free World, we created a self-interviewing app that will enable those in remote communities with low tech exposure an innovative way to discreetly report on sensitive topics. Though the UN has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and abuse by its personnel, the organization is not without criticism. Aids-Free World’s goal is to end the impunity for sexual offences committed by UN personnel and make it a safer environment for women, children, and victims of sexual abuse everywhere.

Amplifying Underexposed Voices

HIV poses the greatest danger to the lives and health of young women, yet their perspectives on the crisis have never before been solicited in this way. In a private and unfiltered manor, Cavia will bring to light voices from a group whose sky-high rates of HIV have been ignored for far too long.

Given that many of these women (volunteers) will be living in remote communities, such as those within sub-saharan Africa, this project presented some unique challenges. Firstly, it was important that the CAVIA app allows for volunteers to conduct self-interviews even if they have limited experience with technology and live in an area with unstable internet or electricity. To add to the challenge, many volunteers will hold low-literacy rates and will only be willing to share their story on such sensitive topics in a private setting. Given this, community workers would need to explain the process to volunteers and hand them a device with the CAVIA app already installed.

Unlearning and Conceptualizing

When designing for first-time smartphone users it was imperative that we unlearn any design patterns that we may have become familiar with. We had evaluated many concepts, considering how certain imagery might make users feel and how users may me inclined to assign meaning to certain objects.

Day and night concept to convey the “proceeding” and “pausing” nature of the self-interview

Using facial expressions to convey “Yes” and “no”
Using human figures to represent “stop” and “go” actions

Eventually we decided that simpler is better. Inclusive all users, the volunteer app leverages audio to guide users through the self-interview process in the language of their choice. In terms of interface design, the final result was two buttons; one to “pause” and one to “continue” along with an animation to convey that the app is recording audio.

Preparing Insights for Advocacy purposes

The simplicity of the volunteer app meant that there were a lot of things that needed to happen behind the scenes to ensure that the self-interview questions and insights were usable. To account for the wide range of languages spoken by end users, we designed a separate desktop application where self-interviews will be analyzed, transcribed, translated and ultimately prepared for advocacy purposes by staff members linked to the organization.

And The World Listened

Over 10 million impressions on social media worldwide… Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.”

– Paula Donovan, Co-founder

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