Calipsa was processing over 1 million CCTV alarm images daily for monitoring stations throughout the UK, but we knew processing all alarms from cameras 24/7 was not necessary.
"We don't always want to monitor certain sites and don't need Calipsa to send us processed alarms, sometimes we'll only monitor sites overnight or we'll have guards patrol the area." - Calipsa customer
By solving this problem Calipsa could match users needs and reduce storage costs by processing less images p/camera.
We visited 5 monitoring stations, 3 stations had a 2000+ camera network and 2 had a camera network of 5000+.
The station employed multiple staff 24/7 to monitor every alarm triggered by the cameras.
The station would receive notifications from cameras or the staff would manually monitor each camera using screens.
80% of alarm notifications were false-alarms and no action was needed.
Some sites had set monitoring schedules, not all needed 24/7 surveilance, monitoring stations didn't want notifications coming from cameras that they weren't supposed to be monitoring.
Our research findings validated the necessity for the scheduling feature and I begun setting out the differences in product journeys. For the detailed decision diagram check out the full flowchart here.
Inspired by setting an alarm, I simplified the scheduling experience in to two types of notification schedules, range and daily (v1). I also planned for the added flexibility of multiple schedules on each camera, to accomodate a variety of users needs.
How should notifications change?
Perform action between two days.
Perform action each day.
I shared the idea with the team and Calipsa customers.
"Setting the schedule makes sense but it needs to be clear when the camera will be on/off, we don't want to stop receiving alarms from the camera when we should be." - Calipsa customer
"I'd like to know more about how the notifications will change based on the schedule, will a daily schedule make changes for each day I select?" - Calipsa employee
I proposed a step-by-step walkthrough that would tell the customer exactly when Calipsa would send notifications and give them a representation of the cameras schedule with a simple visualisation to follow.
Scheduling notifications to be ON from Monday to Friday (range).
Scheduling notifications to be OFF Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday (daily).
I developed a dynamic experience that would change based on the parameters of the form. Each step is conversational and describes in detail the outcome of each parameter.
For a simplified experience I used a card-based interaction that would swipe back and forth depending on the direction you were moving in the form.
- Choose action
- When should the action be performed?
- Parameters of schedule
I used dyanmic icons that would illustrate change to the schedule, red for turning notifications off and green for turning notifications on.
The variety in monitoring schedules meant it was important to simplify everything in to a visualisation so that it could be understand quickly and easily
I also designed a chart and text alternative that would show the cameras notification schedule, clearly highlighting when notifications would be received and when the cameras alarms would be ignored.
Here's a demo of the completed design we used in production.
- Need to iterate to enhance the feature with more time options (monthly/yearly).
- I'd like to spend more time on the visualisation, make it clearly what the colors mean, the text version will have to explain complex schedules for now.
- Have an alternative to visualisation when possible for text-based important information.
- Users don't WANT to spend time creating a schedule, so it should be easy if they HAVE to.