Tips By Text - Anonymously text the police | Seelio
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Citizen tips are often a valuable source of information for the Jackson Police Department as they investigate crimes. However, given the cultural stigma surrounding “snitching” in some communities, citizens are not always willing to offer tips for fear of being labeled as a “snitch”, and being retaliated against. We aimed to provide an anonymous electronic tip submission system that allows citizens to text the JPD using their cell phones.

We built a cloud based platform that the citizens can text to anonymously. Our solution runs on a web server, and strips the phone number from all incoming texts, relaying only the text message itself to the police. 
This offers citizens a simple method to contact the JPD, while allowing them to remain unidentified within their community.

  • A poster that highlights the steps of our process, the constraints of this project, and our design solution.
  • Video of our presentation to the City of Jackson at the Citizen Interaction Design expo on 4/25/2014.
  • A business card that has been developed for the police and detectives of the Jackson Police Department to hand out to the citizens.
  • Our presentation slides from the Citizen Interaction Design expo on 04/25/2014.
  • A succinct report that has been developed to represent our research methods, the solution we came up with and a sustainability plan.
  • A poster that we developed for the Jackson Police Department to publish and distribute across the city.



  • Joshua Ethan Sanchez

    Joshua Ethan Sanchez

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
    I enjoyed working on this project tremendously. Angie, Yesh, and I were very excited about the connection we were able to make with members of the Jackson community in the initial stakeholder interviews and research that we completed. We were very fortunate to work closely with the Jackson Police Department in designing and developing the technical requirements of the Tips by Text system, and their input can be seen in our final interaction designs. I hope that the design ideas and technical guidelines for developing this cloud-based system that we created and proposed will be useful and meaningful to the city of Jackson. 
  • angela ng

    angela ng

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  • Yeshesvi Kadiyala

    Yeshesvi Kadiyala / Researcher, Interaction designer

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
    The project has been an incredible experience for me as an aspiring User Experience Researcher. I, along with my group members Joshua and Angela conducted extensive user studies in the city of jackson. We interviewed varied number of people ranging from middle-high school kids to city officials and ward members. My major contribution to the project has also been addressing the technical details of our solution. I have researched extensively for a secure, scalable and easy to use communications provider for the texting system. I have also been involved in interaction design of the police side of the system and in developing guidelines and technical aspects for the programmer to help him get started with development.
  • University of Michigan School of Information

    University of Michigan School of Information

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor


Computer Science, Interaction Design, Social Causes

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