Call BlackLine

Empowering Call BlackLine, a non-profit crisis counseling organization, to deliver mobile crisis support services to individuals throughout the United States and Canada.
My Role
Product Design Lead
Sep 2022 - Jun 2023
1 Product Manager
1 Engineering Manager
5 Developers
3 Designers
2 Stakeholders
Product Thinking
Interaction Design
Visual Design
Design Systems


Providing a confidential, 24-hour hotline for those in crisis.

Call BlackLine is a non-profit that provides immediate crisis counseling to individuals who need to talk with someone immediately or are in distress.

As the project's Product Design Lead at Triton Software Engineering, at student organization that develops pro-bono software, I oversaw a team of two designers, managed the distribution of design work, and facilitated cross-functional collaboration to develop our product. 


Securing crisis counseling with a mobile app.

To reach users in a more secure and flexible manner, BlackLine aimed to transition its resources to an all-in-one mobile application. 

Security Issues
BlackLine relies on volunteers to connect with hotline callers. However, volunteers largely received hate calls; preventing them from reaching callers in immediate need.
With a mobile application, BlackLine believed they could have improved security measures, preventing the number of hate calls they would receive.


Uncovering user needs and client goals.

A challenge we faced throughout this process was the inability to interview BlackLine users due to confidentiality reasons. Our solution was a blend of one-on-one interviews with our clients and secondary research.
One-on-one interviews with our client enabled us to align on project goals and uncover any additional needs. Secondary research helped the team understand the ‘crisis-counseling app’ landscape.
Users want...
...more opportunities to seek aid (expanding beyond calls).
Stakeholders wished...
...for better connections between them and those they help.
Volunteers want...
...improved security measures to decrease hate calls.

Uncovering user expectations with user personas.

We crafted two personas to further understand user expectations. This summated into two personas: a user seeking aid and a Call BlackLine volunteer who responds to calls.


Aligning our client goals with our problem space.

We collaborated with our clients to ideate on solutions to solve our problem space. We converged on the following ideas:

More opportunities to seek aid
Opportunities include: calling (current), texting a volunteer (new), and writing about experiences in app.
Improved security measures
A log-in flow and authentication features prior to obtaining a hotline number.
User & client connections
An affirmations feature allowing stakeholders an outlet to connect with users.

Visualizing user steps with user flows.

Our user flows helped us identify each step a user would take in our app. We also pinpointed user painpoints and technical constraints with these flows.


Design driven by concept testing and feedback.

We designed various iterations of the flows and features mapped out from our flows.

Because direct usability testing with users was unobtainable, we used concept testing with clients and design critiques as our main outlets for feedback.


Finding a balance between information and features presented was a challenge for our homepage designs.
Concept testing helped us balance the information client's wanted and the features that users needed to see to seek aid.


BlackLine volunteers can send words of affirmation to users with this feature. Designing this feature challenged my visual design skills as I came in with a larger background in desktop design.
With secondary research and critiques, I quickly learned mobile best-practices that refined my designs.

Crafting a design system with sustainability in-mind.

Throughout this time, we had also developed a design system in hopes of keeping our product sustainable in the future.


The Call BlackLine app, a secure source for crisis-counseling.

An account verification flow aims to improve security measures.

This feature acts as a shield, aiming to decrease the number of hate calls volunteers receive.

Volunteers can send users affirmations and words of encouragement.

Improving the connection between volunteers and users of BlackLine.


Metric-building for success

While the current team was not able to continue product building after our school year, we were able to provide next steps for the future team that works with Call BlackLine.

With our most-viable product complete, the design team crafted a handful of metrics that can help measure the product’s future success.
Track the number of hate calls BlackLine receives each quarter.
Decreases may show that our security measures helped this problem. If not, back to the drawing board!
Using BlackLine's report sheets, track the usage of each crisis support feature.
Usage of new features can indicate positive signal from users. If there's low usage, consider new features and improvements.


An experience that solidified my passions for design.

Know when to move forward.

As design lead, I had a lot of leverage when it came to what the team would be doing next. After usability testing, I found myself wanting to redesign the entire app. However, I took a step back and reminded myself that we had only so much time.

With this realization, I made a priority list of what needed to be redesigned for usability purposes. Those action items were prioritized over redesign initiatives that were for things like aesthetics.

Client Communication

Working with a non-profit wasn't something new to me when I took on this project. However, client communication always has ups and downs. In this project, many of the features were left unclear at the beginning. To overcome this, I created various low-fidelity versions of our features to give us a starting point.

This project showed me that, as a designer, I have the power to help a team get out of uncertainty and confusion. I can create low-stake designs, present them, and empower our team to get a solid understanding of what we want to do from these designs.

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