Interaction modes for emergency mobile apps
While seemingly irrational behaviors such as panicking or displaying antisocial behavior are the responses to emergency situations the media and movies lead us to believe, several studies show that people rather react based on decision-making such as acting altruistically and protectively. However, what can we really expect from people in a crowd in terms of participation in an emergency response system? In this paper, we present a mobile application called the RESCUER App, which allows civilians to participate in the emergency response process by providing information about the emergency to a command center and to receive instructions from this command center. We developed a human reaction model for emergencies to better understand the human-computer interaction capabilities of people in an emergency situation. Based on this model, we defined three different interaction modes: one-click interaction, guided interaction, and chat interaction. These interaction modes were implemented in an interactive prototype and evaluated in an experiment in which high cognitive load was induced to simulate a stress situation, similar to the stress experienced in an emergency. The experiment results showed that the three predefined interaction modes enabled people to interact with the RESCUER App even though they were in a stress situation.