eNotes (Emergency Notes)
How might we ensure that our loved ones are informed about what to do
in unforeseen events, such as incapacitation or death, when we are no longer
able to guide them? Traditional wills are cumbersome and costly, while
commercial apps (note-taking/messaging) often lack security and certainty
Emergency Notes (eNotes) enables you to leave straightforward instructions
for your loved ones in three simple steps: Log in using Singpass, write
a note, and choose whom to send it to and when (either upon incapacitation/death
or immediately). When triggered, your loved ones will simply need to verify
their identity through Singpass to access the note. Explore our prototype
eNotes was made by a multi-disciplinary team from SNDGO and OGP:
Zi Yan Soh, Desmond Lui, Javin Chua, Zulhilmi Icksan,
and Joanna Lo
When the team was first formed, we wanted to solve a totally different
problem: noise conflicts. This was our initial problem statement: In the
heart of our bustling city, HDB flats are not just structures; they are
homes where every Singaporean deserves tranquillity and safety. However,
a prevalent challenge disrupts this right – noise pollution. Excessive
noise not only disturbs the serenity of our homes but also impacts our
well-being and sleep quality. Moreover, resolving these noise complaints
currently involves multiple government agencies, leading to a significant
expenditure of resources and hours, often with limited success in fostering
We put together a design prototype and spoke to 3 separate agencies: MND,
MinLaw, and HDB.
After speaking with these 3 agencies, we learned that the timing of the
product was not right (there are on-going efforts towards policy changes)
and we were unable to find a business champion on the agency side - which
was critical to the product’s success.
As such, the team decided to pivot to another problem space.
Death Note Emergency Note
The team went back to the drawing block and pitched multiple ideas. The
problem space that all of us resonated with was around how might we easily
and securely leave important notes to our loved ones. There are many related
use cases for this:
In many families, typically the responsibility of managing the finances
and insurance falls on one person. Others in the family might not be aware
of the details of it.
When a group travels overseas, typically a single person buys the travel
insurance or individually everyone gets one for themselves. Between them,
no one knows what each other has gotten.
At hospice, sometimes residents want to leave a letter behind for their
loved ones but there is little reassurance that the letter will be safely
To test our theory that this would be of use to Singaporeans, we pitched
eNotes as an idea to about 10 members of public. The objective was to gauge
interest in this product, and through the inductive method, listen to the
users’ sharings of their own potential use cases. Although our primary
goal was a platform to provide individuals with a means of instruction
writing for family in the case of untimely death, our user sharings brought
to the forefront another objective this platform served: emotional last
words. This objective was previously a secondary goal but through the frequency
of which users brought this up as their potential use case, the team quickly
realised that this was also a primary objective for users.
With a week left for the hackathon, the team put together a working prototype.
We put together a webapp that mainly sought to achieve: raised awareness
for the need of advanced planning, detailed instructions on how to use
the webapp, and chiefly, enable Singaporeans to leave notes for their family
and loved ones in the event of their demise.
Using our working prototype, we reached out to 11 members of the public.
Most of our respondents had an initial response of slight discomfort talking
about death. While it’s important to note that they could engage on this
topic during the user research, their body language showed that talking
about death wasn’t the most natural topic. This small gesture also signified
to us that they probably had not done a lot of planning for end of life.
MOPs who are not married typically don’t have any strong use for eNotes
as they generally felt there wasn’t much instructions to leave behind.
MOPs with who were married or have children felt that there was more use
case for eNotes. However, findings within this “married and/or have children”
population could be further broken down into generational themes, differences
broken down here:
In this population group, the users who younger (age range 20-40+) described
that their use of eNotes would mainly be to leave last words to their significant
On the point of leaving “instructions” for their partner, they mentioned
other tech solutions such as password managers, scheduled telegram messages
etc that would make it easier for sharing account access, rather than leaving
it through eNotes.
The users in this population who were older (age range 50-70+) also expressed
more enthusiasm at the usefulness for eNotes.
Although our users from different demographics had slightly different
use cases for eNotes, this showed our team how we could better contextualise
the use cases for users depending on the demographic. This also helped
us tweak our landing page content better so that the use case for eNotes
would be more applicable even at first glance.
View our final MVP for the hackathon here.