Creating awareness and reassurance of one's surroundings regarding Covid
Researcher & Designer
This was my final studio project that I created for Parsons School of Design
We all know from the news that the number of Covid-infected people has been rapidly rising. We (some of us, at least), have been careful while we go around outdoors, but we aren’t actively conscious of the possibility of having infected people literally sitting at the table across from us at a restaurant, or touching that apple we are about to buy from the grocery store. Over time, the tension has died away and people are no longer super serious about the whole issue. I want to make information regarding the number of people (infected or not) who visit certain places in the city more obviously. The problem I would like to solve is - How can we ease people’s concern about contracting Covid when they go out?
I started off desk research intending to figure out what concerns people have regarding Covid. According to Ipsos, 47% of the country still thought of Covid as one of the biggest threat. I sent out a survey to a wide target audience regarding their concerns and it their thoughts on why Covid is concerning is mainly focused upon potentially causing others to become sick.
I was pleasantly surprised about how people were motivated to follow social distancing rules mainly for the sake of other people. It reminded me of two apps, Citizen and Waze. Citizen is an app that alerts people of potential threats around the user, and Waze does the same, as a navigation app geared towards drivers. This gave me the idea to produce a contact tracing app where people can help one another stay alert and informed of their surroundings by either looking at the live capacity/traffic of a specific store/location, or reporting a rough incident (such as rude, maskless people or a large crowd) that happened at a specific spot.
I created a questionnaire and found 5 target audience to conduct interviews with. I wanted to see what details I should include in the app. I did some synthesis on the results.
The main takeaways was that people are all concerned about passing Covid to another person, but would leave home regardless for mandatory and recreational tasks. Secondly, everyone wishes they can go out more often, but are afraid of meeting someone who doesn't comply with social distancing guidelines and get them sick.
From the synthesis of my user research, I wanted to make sure that people can use this app to see the status of locations they care about/want to go to. Like Waze and Citizen, one can submit a sighting that they think the community should know about in case anyone wants to go to that location. Users can then confirm if the sighting is true, and anonymously comment on it. Finally, Users can also go back and look at the places they have visited, and the capacity/sightings at that location when they visited. The purpose of this feature is to document users' tracks in case hospital workers or friends/families need to look at it for some manual contact tracing.
In my mid-fi, the changes I made was:
Here are the feedbacks I received from the midfi prototype:
This is my favorite project I've worked on for class! I think it's because I am very accustomed to user interviews, testing, and affinity mapping. I felt confident ini utilizing all the UX research methods that I've been taught, and was able to refine this app into something I'm proud of.
If I had more time, I would want to keep working on the "post-pandemic" version of this app. So far, I've only created a small alternate screen, but I would love to see how I can make this app usable even when the world is back to normal.
Finally, I learned to CONSTANTLY get feedback. I was able to receive a lot of help and suggestions this time, actively participating in critiques and asking my professors for advice. The more people, the fresher the ideas. More brains the better!