Problem Solution Process & Contributions Research Developing the Solution Design Decisions Take-aways

FightPandemics: Enabling Connections during Pandemics

Cross-platform design of an app that facilitates connection among individuals and organizations during pandemics

Duration: Mar.2020 - present

Role: UX Design Co-lead (with Enialo Leon)

Team: Enialo Leon (Designer), Jimmy Hsu (Designer), Robin Venneman (Back-end Engineer lead), Annie Giang (Front-end Engineer lead), Indira Bhowmick (Product lead), Valentin Rudloff (Product Manager) among others

Result: Webapp MVP shipped, ios MVP partially shipped, Webapp V1.2 in development

View our webapp product at: https://fightpandemics.com/

Problem

Information and resource sharing on social media isn't easy

Many people are experiencing a lack of resources during the global pandemic. Many others are offering help to families and friends to get through it. But what about offering or requesting help on social media? Although many have the willingness, fewer are actually doing that because information about requesting or offering help is easily buried and scattered across multiple platforms.

Solution

Facilitate information and resource sharing targeting context-specific needs

FightPandemic was created to facilitate connection, information exchange and resource sharing among individuals and organizations. The solution targets context-specific needs during pandemics such as being able to locate posts where specific help is needed.

Product Walkthrough

Bryana is a senior year medical student who wants to quickly learn about medical volunteering needs in her city.

Task 1: Locate requests in her city

She opens up the app and sees many request for help. She uses the filter to help her locate help in her city.

Task 2: Search for medical requests

She searches with the keyword "mask" to see requests and offers help to most urgent requests.

James is a restaurant owner who was recently laid off during pandemic. He needs some legal advice.

Task 3: Create a post with context-specific information

He creates a post, specifying he is requiring help. Since he lives in the States, he wants people with legal experience in the States to offer him legal help.

The Big Picture

Process and contributions

Roadmap

My contributions

Research

Understanding our users

I want to understand people's help-seeking and offering behaviors during the pandemic, especially when it is related to needs and challenges in terms of resource sharing and receiving on social media, so I conducted a short survey.

Survey results validated our hypothesis. But I still want to dive deeper into the challenges people face during the pandemic. Collaborated with another researcher, we conducted 8 interviews and 30+ pieces of social media audit to support the primary research.

Problem Statement

I was in love with the design project scoping guide by Stanford d.school so I used it to form our deisgn challenge:

Design a information and resource sharing platform for people who need help (while considering people who offer help) in a world where the global pandemics has created pressing demands in terms of resources, we aim to promote volunteer and help-seeking behavior during crisis.

Developing the Solution

Design Requirements

We didn't jump from A from B. Together with PM, I laid out key design goals that helped us lay the groundwork of design:

Exploring the Interactions

Sketching allows me to understand the user journey and how the content should flow. It also allows me to identify key screens I should focus on.

I outlined the interactions for specific features and explored various ways to layout UI elements. Meanwhile, seeking feedback from other designers help me quickly validate my design decisions.

For filter, I tried out different tag design and interactions aiming to achieve a smoother experience

I outlined the interactions for specific features and explored various ways to layout UI elements. Meanwhile, seeking feedback from other designers help me quickly validate my design decisions.

Design Validation

To validate our design, I created a testing prototype and collaborated with other designers to test our design.

Design Handoff

One challenge of multiple designers collaborating on the same user flow is the design inconsistency. Sometimes it's just a 4px of difference in margin that causes confusion for engineers!

To tackle this problem, I worked with and learned from another designer on the design system to ensure we use the same visual language. I also pushed for a partnership from Zeplin (and got free cooperation account) to handoff our design.

Design Decisions

Filter

Feature: Users can filter the results based on location, type of help/request, and who is offering it.

Rationale: Based on user research, there are many different levels of needs people might have during the pandemic, from food and groceries to mental health. From a business perspective, users also need to filter out posts based on who is offering if they are looking for jobs within specific organizations.

Search

Feature: Users can search information and see results in all posts, offers or requests.

Rationale:One main pain point we identified was people who need help and who can offer help cannot find each other. The search feature allows users to quickly find relevant posts that they can offer or request help.

Create a Post

Feature: Users should be able to create a post in the community and choose the visibility and duration of the post.

Rationale:Some needs have an expiration date. At an early stage, letting users decide to what extent do they want their needs to be explosed and when will their request/offers expire seems to be the most cost-effective solution.

Profile

Feature: Users are able to see their individual profile and create a new organization profile in this tab.

Rationale: Organization users are essential to our future business model. It is impotant that users can create organization to post job information and request other types of help.

Inbox

Feature: Users are able to receive notifications about their posts.

Rationale: Users need to be interacting with people who are offering or requesting help to satify their needs.

Take-aways

Working with a remote team

Working with a remote team means that I need to be sensitive to the time zones. Also, I need to utilize asynchronized communication (i.e., through constant documentation) to facilitate collaboration across time zones and available hours.

Design coordination

As the co-lead of the design team, I am also learning to coordinate among designers and prioritize design tasks. I used Notion to create design tasks and add descriptions. Other designers will pick them up when they are available and I need to monitor the scrum board to make sure we are delivering quality work under a time constraint.

Communication with engineers

I've learned that my designs need to be as explicit and specific as possible. They need to be visual, on Figma/Zeplin, instead of verbal. Engineers will share components and verbal description is hard to be passed on to other people.

Wearing more than the designer hat

In start-up culture, I learned how it is of vital importance to wear more than one hat. For instance, I also conducted UI testing to ensure the engineers are delivering quality products according to the design.