Mischa Price

Twitter Emergencies

UX design case study, Product design, prototyping

Project Overview

Twitter emergencies is a product that lets verified emergency services organizations create ‘Emergencies’ that collect official releases, relevant updates, and vital information into one place. Emergencies popup at the top of users timelines if they are in an area near to the event, with Emergencies also being present on Twitter's homepage accessible to people who aren’t on the platform.

mockup of twitter emergencies header

Our Project Road

This project started with our team designing for the British Columbia wildfire services, trying to create a UX design project to address their communication needs. We talked to professors and other experts in the field and had started designing first prototypes when we finally got ahold of the Emergency Management BC team. From them we heard pretty clearly “An one stop shop app really isn’t going to solve the problems we have” which made us look critically at our options ahead. In the midsts of evaluating places to go I thought about how we could best position the project to create a design that could address the pain points we had been hearing. From there I proposed we change clients to twitter, and after a little bit of convincing the team moved forward. Diving deep into what parts of Twitter were getting in the way and what we could do.

why twitter was the right move for our project and for BC wildfire service


Once we had focused in on our concept we came up with several iterations, running rounds of user testing and peer critique. I was leading the content flow and did the prototyping and micro-interactions. I worked within Twitter more minimal use of motion in their app to bring a consistent yet somewhat distinct experience. Bringing in a little bit of relief to a stressful situation with the mark as safe functionality. We worked on our UI design in Figma and I brought the mockups to life using ProtoPie and After Effects.

design of information popup

How it works

The update is a new type of content that can only be posted by emergency services organizations onto emergencies, it has no character limit and can have images or GIS map data embedded in it. Centred around the update is the new emergency page, that is created by emergency services to aggregate information with verified accuracy.

A solution for all sides

After talking with people who work as emergency information officers. We knew that our proposal had to work just as well for them as it did for people evacuating. We thought about how to coach and guide people into providing on the most relevant information.

twitter emergencies backend
The backend UI for updating a twitter emergency

Delight When appropriate

Leading the animation and interaction design, I wanted to bring some fun in the style of the like button, when users are in a space where they won't be as stressed about evacuating from the disaster.