Disputation Jasmin Haunschild: „Enhancing Citizens’ Role in Public Safety and Security: Interaction, Perception and Design of Mobile Crisis Apps“
17. November | 11:30 - 13:15
The experience of the Corona virus pandemic and the war in Ukraine have emphasized the possibility of the occurrence even of low-probability safety and security hazards and the importance of crisis preparedness. Increasingly, warning app are offered as a mobile component of crisis alert systems. These apps offer multi-media content, reliable agency information and two-way communication. They thus promise users to maintain situational awareness in case of a crisis. In addition, some apps offer preventive and response advice, as well as features for citizens to organise themselves.
However, low usage numbers across all European countries indicate that such apps are either not well-known or not well-received, but explanations for this are missing. Studies focusing on warning app users’ expectations in a state-centric risk culture are so far rare and preparedness features are hardly investigated. Therefore, studies investigating the user perspective on warning apps, particularly their utility, are important. In addition, exploring and adding further functions could increase the utility of such apps. In particular, warning apps could focus more on increasing crisis preparedness, especially because citizens in a state-centric risk culture such as in Germany do not take responsibility for individual preparedness. The aim of this dissertation is thus to investigate mobile crisis apps’ potential for enhancing citizens’ role in public safety and security. This will be done by investigating use and perception of such apps, as well as design interventions that increase citizens’ contributions to public safety and security. To do this, firstly, representative and qualitative surveys are conducted, exploring the user perspective on warning apps, identifying trends and changes over time and comparing their usefulness to other sources. By investigating the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in risk cultures following severe crises since 2020, the studies analyse the impact of crisis experience on personal crisis responsibility and trust in emergency management through a comparative survey. Secondly, to enhance crisis preparedness, different versions of preparedness features are developed and evaluated in an experiment.
The results show that citizens believe that warning apps are useful, and those who used a warning app in a crisis report it to be one of the most helpful sources of information. In line with the theory of risk culture, the apps are preferred to social media in crises in Germany. Warning app adoption increased over time in Germany, while feature and design preferences remained largely stable. Analyses of the impacts of particular crises show that the lack of concise and reliable agency information about regulations put in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak left an informational gap, that was filled only slowly by warning apps. With regard to involving citizens in crisis response through crisis preparedness, the results show that a persuasively designed preparedness feature can increase the taking of preparedness measures. In addition, extending warning apps by preparedness features can increase warning app utility, particularly for those users who perceive the information as relevant and informative.
Freitag, 17. November 2023, 11:30-13:15 Uhr im CYSEC-Gebäude
(Gebäudenummer: S2/20; Anschrift: Pankratiusstr. 2, Darmstadt, Raum: 9)
- 11:30h öffentlicher Vortrag von 30min
- 12:00h Wissenschaftliches Gespräch von 60min
- 13:00h Interne Kommissionssitzung und Ergebnisverkündung
- ab 13:15h Empfang