Redefining the way journalists and researchers discover COVID-19 symptom tracking and contact tracing applications.

Role: UX Designer and Front-End Developer

Tools: Figma, GitHub, React JS

Year: 2020

The problem

As the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic came to a close, we noticed an explosion of apps that were created with the intention of tracking symptoms and cases. There was no way to see side by side which COVID tracking applications were being downloaded the most, in what countries and what privacy permissions they were asking for.

Our objective was to create a web application that would utilize the Google Play store API to automatically add and update application in order for journalists and interested parties to find and investigate more into the applications.

Understanding user wants, needs and expectations

Before diving straight into designs and prototyping, we needed to investigate the current COVID-19 tracking landscape and gleam insights from those users. One such team we were able to talk with was the team at “The COVID Tracking Project” (link) (CTP) and better understand who their users were and the main pain points they were experiencing.

After the discussion with CTP, we sent out interview invitations and surveys to collect data on what potential users biggest fears or concerns were with COVID-19 tracking apps.

Testing MVP with users

After some challenges with the back-end logic, we were able to start testing our prototype MVP virtually with users to get feedback on:

  • How fast users could access information.
  • How to find specific apps in a country.
  • Whether certain data points were relevant/useful to users (ex. dangerous app indicators and filterable timelines).

Deliverables and learnings

For our final deliverables for this project, we were able to launch the web app on GitHub Pages for ease of version control and project management (the project link). The web app automatically adds any new COVID-19 tracing, symptom tracking, and COVID-19 information apps from the Google Play Store to our database on GitHub and displays new apps on our website daily.

At the start of this project, we all wanted to make sure that the thing we were creating was useful and giving people valuable information. To help us with this whenever we sent friends and family members the project, we also sent them a Google Form so we could collect all the feedback in one place. This helped us think about the information that was more important to visitors, like being able to sort the apps by country on the home page.