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Opcovid: Designing for Social Good

“Innovation is the creation of something that improves the way we live our lives”
– Barack Obama

This is nice, and certainly inspiring, but it isn’t the most enlightening definition of what innovation actually is. As a design innovation agency, we pride ourselves in knowing this definition and applying it for our partners. It turns out that getting that definition into a few quotable words is actually quite a challenge. The authorities on the subject simply don’t agree with each other. One thing’s for sure, innovation means making the best use of your resources, and turning your weaknesses into strengths. It involves taking what the world throws at you and making something good out of it. In fact…

Innovation:

So when COVID-19 started leaving lemons everywhere, everyone started looking for ice and sugar (ok I’m going to leave this metaphor now and get all serious.) Unlike any other pandemic in history, this one comes at a time where we as a species are prepared to respond. COVID-19 is terrifying, and has already fundamentally changed how we live, but the wave of altruism, agile designs and innovative solutions that has risen to match it has been staggering. We were approached by our long-term partners Safe and the City to help them brand, design and develop their contribution to the cause. In collaboration with both them and members of a world-leading AI technology company, we built OpCovid.

OpCovid will help to reduce strain on the NHS, and increase the clarity of the as yet untested spread of Covid-19 by allowing people to self-report. It checks their location and the date of their contraction before assessing their symptoms. OpCovid also goes so far as to allow people to self report their level of anxiety around the condition.

This data is visualised on a map which shows statistics for confirmed, self reported, deceased and recovered cases. The aim is to increase transparency of the spread of COVID-19, and the mutations which follow it, while reducing the time it takes to gather this information by allowing people to self report it.‍

We pride ourselves on mobilising our team to move fast when needed. Agile design needs a clear problem and an inspired group of designers. Needless to say, inspiration wasn’t a problem here. The team worked overtime to build out a brand and UI design in a matter of days, iterating concepts until we found one which felt right.

We needed to think, quicker than ever, about the whole process. Who is this brand for? Who’s interacting with it? What are their expectations? Why are they there? We realised that people coming to this site are looking not only for reliable, verifiable information upon which they can make confident predictions, but also for reassurance. People self reporting information are worried and often vulnerable. They need guidance, confidence and the feeling that they’re being supported by someone caring and strong.

To this end we focused our design efforts, our custom typography and colour scheme, to align with the growing trends in healthtech. The pinks, greens, blues and whites are reassuring, modern and technical. The logo shows both the spread of the virus, and how through social distancing, it can be slowed. The dashboard itself needed to be clean, clear and accessible, so that anyone could understand how to use it.

This project was a fast turn-around response to a global crisis. The team felt that we needed to do something to help, and we were so proud and happy to have the opportunity to do so. We’ll continue looking for ways to use what we can do for good, as everyone should. From Pret’s free coffee for NHS staff, to the countless free downloads digital distributors have made to help people through this period, the time is now to figure out how you can use your organisation’s skills to help.

Do you need someone to help you tell your story?

We’re Outfly, a design innovation agency built for disruptive startups, innovators and game changers. We like helping people tell their story. Don’t be afraid to reach out: hello@outfly.io