Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people around the world have had to get tested for COVID-19. After a possible exposure in my family, it was unsure if we had been in contact with someone with COVID-19. After struggling to find a testing center near me, I realized that if a 20-year-old is having trouble, others would too.
Create a mobile application that allows users to find COVID-19 testing centers in their local area and be able to filter through the results based on their preferences.
Target Audience / Persona
- Age: 30-50 Year old
- Gender: Male/Female
- High risk to COVID-19
- No insurance
- Has car
- Not tech savvy
Kelly is a 40 year old woman from San Francisco, California who works as a receptionist at an elementary school. Kelly does not have strong internet browsing knowledge and relies on her brother in Sacramento, California to surf the internet. Kelly also suffers from COPD, obesity, and does not have insurance. Kelly was recently in contact with someone who was confirmed with COVID-19 and must get tested. Kelly has a car, but is not too familiar driving outside of the city of San Francisco.
To learn more about other people’s experience registering for a COVID-19 testing center, I conducted an online research study surveying 39 past COVID-19 testing patients. From this survey, I found that on average it took users approximately 16 minutes to find a testing center and register for an appointment.
Additionally, the most difficult part of the process was finding the testing registration site, finding a nearby testing center, and needing a doctor’s referral.
After analyzing the feedback from the survey, I narrowed the project down to a mobile application that allowed them to:
- Schedule an appointment
- Immediately display users the required criteria to receive testing.
- Show all testing centers in their local area
Through my first prototype, I had acknowledged all of the user’s highest requests, allowing them to schedule and register for a COVID-19 testing appointment within seconds. I created a simple and easy to use user interface that would satisfy my target audience.
While this was good, I realized that if I published this prototype to the world, it wouldn’t actually benefit anyone or make a difference. I began to think of ways to develop this prototype into a real application. However, the only way to register a user to an appointment would require my application to have access to every COVID-19 testing center’s registration database. I knew this would be highly unlikely.
I scrapped the idea and went back to the first step, acknowledging the problem that:
Finding a COVID-19 testing center that meets your preferences is difficult.
Desktop Iteration 1
My solution to this problem was to make an interactive webpage that allowed users to filter testing centers and be able to view the results on a map.
Desktop Iteration 2
To create a more straightforward and easy to navigate experience, I eliminated the list view. Additionally, to solve the problem of not being able to register patients directly, my solution was to have a button that would open the webpage for users to register for their COVID-19 test on a new page.
Desktop Iteration 3
After compiling a list of testing centers in California, I omitted the filtering option of Appointment because every testing center required an appointment. Additionally, I added a search bar feature that allows users to help friends or family members find testing centers near them.
To acknowledge that Find My COVID Test was an interactive map based website for COVID-19, I created a unique logo that highlighted both components. Instantly, I knew that this would be the logo that I wanted to create for the site.
Once finalizing the design and developing the application to Desktop Iteration 3, I began to user test the website with 10 people ages 20-55 to ensure that the product was usable for all ages and demographics. I received a lot of constructive feedback that helped polish and push Find My COVID Test to its final version. For example, to make information more clear, Cost was rewritten to Fee and Test Type to Test Method. Additionally, on page load, the filter buttons would be selected to Any, clearly illustrating that no filters were applied. Another revision that was especially useful was to add zoom in and zoom out buttons on the map for both mobile and desktop users. Additionally, the address of the testing center would be clickable, linking the user directly to Google Maps where they’d be able to find out how far a testing center was to their location.
Finally, I created a logo and displayed it on the top left corner where it was most visible to users without distracting them of the product. Additionally, I decided to default to the classic Google Maps red marker color as it was a familiar icon that most users would recognize.
At the start of the pandemic, finding a COVID test was a difficult challenge. However, since the release of Find My COVID Test, I have been able to help more than 3,000 people find COVID-19 tests with an average time of 34 seconds. Prior to creating this website, past test recipients reported that the average time test was 16 minutes and 41 seconds. Overall, my website has greatly reduced the search time for finding the most suitable COVID-19 test. With the improved accessibility, I hope to be able to increase the amount of California residents receiving tests, creating a healthier and aware community that can flatten the curve.
As I continue to add testing locations to the map, I am proactively reaching out to the California government and testing organizations such as Verily- Project Baseline, CVS Health, and Walgreens to work together and improve the website's map coverage across the United States.
Being the sole designer and developer of this project has been rewarding in itself to positively impact the community and make finding COVID testing more accessible to the public.
If you would like to partner, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to use Find My COVID Test for yourself, please visit: http://findmycovidtest.com/
Thank you Aileen Yang, Blake Brown, Francis Kong, Hannah McKelson, Jeremy Chang-Yoo, Joli Chien, Kit Nga Chou, Linda Huang, Marcela San Juan, Sam Louderback, Thomas Pham, Thomas Hernandez, and many more for their feedback and support along the way.