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Uber for security: A look at First Security’s innovative app, Responda

Uber for security: A look at First Security’s innovative app, Responda


First Security

Mobile App Development Custom Software Development UI/UX

It can be hard to appreciate the emergence of an innovative new product category upon release. AirBNB was nominated for its first award at the annual South by Southwest conference four years after the company’s beginnings, when it was still under its longer moniker, AirBed & Breakfast. It would take Uber three years from its pricey New Year’s Eve private car hire-inspired conception to be named Tech Company of the Year by USA Today. 

But Responda, First Security’s on-demand home security service? It just scooped up the Outstanding New Security Product award at the OSPAs in April — only five months after its release.

What went into this instant product category-defining success? A fresh, new perspective on security and proven trust in the Sandfield’s mobile application development expertise.

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"We have no in-house development capability and so needed a partner to help us build the app — something we needed to reach our consumers."

Scott LaFranchie, First Security’s GM Marketing & Product

The release of Responda marked a shift in the way we approach home security. With the advent of smart home technology, people are increasingly using their mobile devices to monitor their property’s security. When the need for manned security service arises; however, there was no viable option. By working with Edge — Sandfield’s custom development team — to build Responda, First Security has been able to meet this need with an innovative, simple to use solution. 

Fundamentally, the Responda experience is about bringing visibility to a process that was once invisible to the consumer. Before, property owners with home alarms would need to rely on alarm monitoring companies — if they had previously chosen to pay for that service — who would dispatch a patrol car and have a security officer check the property for them. It would only be afterward that the consumer would be notified of their property’s security. 

With Responda, no longer are you suspended in the ‘black box’ where the security of your home and, subsequently, your peace of mind is left to an alarm monitoring company. Instead, Responda gives complete visibility to this process so that a consumer can see, from start to finish, that alarm response or property welfare check. Furthermore, consumers are able to choose when a patrol is sent to their property. 


A mobile application was the perfect solution for this on-demand security service, giving homeowners and small businesses access to top tier property security in the palm of their hands. Without the in-house development capabilities needed, though, First Security looked to outsource the design and build of their mobile application. For this they turned to Edge who were able to work with the team to curate a simple and assuring user experience.

The user interface needed to be instantly familiar to new users and easy to navigate even in a panicked state. Working closely with Sandfield’s UX/UI designers meant that from sign-up to service request, the application presented an interface that was simple and functional yet appealing. The app design needed to give user’s confidence in using it, as well as be representative of the trust First Security had built with their brand.

 Whilst First Security had conceptualised the app’s design and functionality, it was the work of Sandfield’s in-house design team that saw the final design brought to life. Through multiple iterations and feedback rounds, where design elements from the navigation flows of pages down to stagnate and animated icons were created from scratch, the app came to be what it is today: an award winner.

"Having worked closely with the First Security team on their vision for the app, it was really rewarding to see the process from start to end and create a design that serves the needs of their users."

Michelle Cheng, Sandfield UX/UI Designer

As well as being intuitive, another clear priority for Responda was for the app to be responsive. First Security had built a service that was truly 24/7/365, meaning its critical that performance and speed be constantly maintained. This proposes a challenge for future updates too, as the Responda service needs to never be compromised: a challenge the Edge team has a proven track record in overcoming.

Sandfield also delivered on other priority features in terms of building a robust security service. Notifications, first of all, are an essential part of the Responda experience. Once a service has been requested, updates on the dispatch and property check are sent directly to the consumer, offering them real-time insight. Post-check, security personnel use the app to send an activity report with attached photographic evidence to the consumer.

This functionality, unlocked through Sandfield’s application development expertise, places knowledge and information, and therefore peace of mind, in the hands of consumers. It also helps First Security to continue to build trust with their customer base. 

"There’s positives to that from a customer experience point of view but also from an accountability point of view to us as a supplier to the customers."

Scott LaFranchie, First Security’s GM Marketing & Product

From the time of release, Responda has seen success after success. The team reported approximately 8000 downloads within the app’s first three months. Feedback received, both from consumers and across the industry, has been overwhelmingly positive too, and saw Responda nominated as Outstanding New Security Product shortly thereafter. 

Having now won this prestigious award, First Security is already working with Sandfield on the future of the application. They’re committed to investing in Responda and seeing it evolve to respond to even more use cases and consumer demographics, citing Sandfield as ‘instrumental in unlocking that roadmap and those futures.’

Responda marks the dawn of a new approach to home and property security. The innovation brought to the market by First Security, made possible through their partnership with Sandfield, has seen the development of a truly one-of-a-kind service.

Are you looking to enter a new market or expand your market offerings? With Sandfield, you’ll see your innovative ideas become a reality. Reach out today to see how Edge can help with your mobile application development or custom software solution needs.

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