A public health mobile application that uses Bluetooth technology to assist with contact tracing and reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the Australian population.

This was a personal exploration of how Human-Centred Design methodologies can be utilised within the public health sector.

project goal

The year 2020 brought about a pandemic that affected the world in a way we hadn't experienced before. Once it became clear that the COVID-19 virus could be spread through close contact, the urgency for governments to develop a digital solution to aid with contact tracing became evident.

In April 2020, Australia's Digital Transformation Agency released the COVIDSafe App and millions of people began to download it. But it soon became apparent that there were some glaring issues, both technically and with the overall experience.

Whether it was due to tight timelines, lack of budget or various other reasons, it was clear that the user experience hadn't been properly explored and this made the COVIDSafe App an interesting and exciting project to take on. The goal of this project was to use the Human-Centred Design methodology to explore an alternate design for the COVIDSafe app.

the users

The three user groups for the COVIDSafe app include:

1. The public - The primary users of the service
2. Public health officials - Responsible for reducing the spread of COVID-19
3. Clinicians - Responsible for administering the COVID-19 tests and providing codes* to people who test positive

* The concept of the codes is explained later

User Journeys

User journeys break the experience down into steps, to investigate where the touch points are and where value can be created for our users.

For the COVIDSafe App, there are four key user journeys:

1. Onboarding into the App
2. Return to everyday life
3. Receive alert of risky interaction
4. Report positive COVID-19 result

Each of these are explored using the Jobs-To-Be-Done framework.

the jobs-to-be-done framework

This redesign utilises the Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD) framework which is a process that frames the user experience in the context of the real-world goals and actionable desires of our users to create a valuable product or service.

The jobs that the user needs to do are split into Functional Jobs and Emotional Jobs. The Emotional Jobs are then split further into Personal and Social categories.

Desired Outcomes

For each job, the desired outcomes of the user group must be mapped alongside the context. The desired outcomes must be a specific and actionable statement which can give direction to the design or engineering teams.

This data was gathered through my personal qualitative research, however a larger sample size would yield more accurate results and provide the ability to gain insights into the priority of each desired outcome.

Please email me for access to the full desired outcomes exploration.

Focus Areas

After synthesising the results from the interviews, it was clear that a few key areas had caused the majority of the dislike and misunderstanding of the current COVIDSafe app. My focus for the redesign would include:

1. Rethink - The COVIDSafe App should be a service FOR the public.
2. Privacy - Users do not want to be tracked and want to feel that their data is safe.
3. Communication - Users need to understand how the technology works.

Report a Case

Allowing the users to report their own case reinforces that the COVIDSafe app is a service for them and not something the government is trying to push on them.Health officials will still ask for a list of recent contacts and locations from the user when they go for their COVID-19 test.


This exploration was to demonstrate how Human-Centred Design could be applied to the Health sector.

Next steps would include:
1. Show initial design proposal to stakeholders
2. Technical feasibility discussions with developers
3. Build low-fidelity prototypes to test usability

Website design

© 2020 Giselle Stidston