PowerPhone Enhances User Experience with New 911 Call Handling Protocol Design

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Emergency communications innovator taps leading design firm to help reinvent call handling tablets, debuting at APCO 2012.

PowerPhone, Inc., a leading provider of dispatcher training and technology solutions, has created a new user interface layout using strategic design solutions for their trusted 911 call handling protocols.

The project was undertaken with help from the Nectarine Group, a leading software user experience design firm for consumer devices and their connected services, located in Palo Alto, Calif. Known for their design and technical expertise in creating products that customers love to use, the Nectarine Group developed the interaction and visual design for Barnes and Noble’s Nook tablet, as well as products for Apple Computer, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, BMW and Yahoo!.

“PowerPhone teamed up with the Nectarine Group to produce a tablet design that would provide an innovative, user-centered experience to meet the challenges of dispatchers, which is efficiently obtaining and providing emergency information in high-stress situations,” said Chris Salafia, President and CEO of PowerPhone.

While the protocol content remains the same, the new design is simplified, user-friendly and engaging. One of the newest features is the constant located next to each Primary Question. Keywords include “What Happened,” “Threats,” and “When.” Particularly for seasoned dispatchers, these quick reference points tell the dispatcher instantly what they need to ask, without technically having to read the whole question, thus increasing efficient call handling.

Other notable features include: a color-coded agency key, critical alert reminders, and helpful link navigation labels that tell the user where to flip to next in the tablet when a protocol calls for a specific procedure or a bridge to a different protocol.

The Nectarine Group utilized rapid user research, interaction and visual design strategy, and usability testing to ensure the optimal user experience. And the features that PowerPhone protocols are known for remain the same. PowerPhone’s integrated protocols still provide flexible guidance, a succinct approach to information-gathering, and scripts based on scene conditions.

PowerPhone will debut their new user-friendly tablet design at the APCO International 78th Annual Conference and Expo in Minneapolis, Minn. At NENA 2012 in June, the company first unveiled their Total Response One Number, One Protocol® Tablet, an innovative, fully integrated call handling system conveniently mounted on a swinging arm.

Be sure visit PowerPhone at APCO 2012, Booth #1513, August 20 and 21, to see the best in user design experience for 911 call handling.

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Caitlin Kingsley
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