Jessica Xu

March 2020




  • Product Design
  • User Research
  • UX Design
  • UX/UI
  • UX/UI



As we watch COVID-19 sweep the world, many feel a call to help. This brief gives us designers the opportunity to make a contribution with our creativity. The COVID-19 problem that I chose to focus on is the need for more home care and self-diagnosis in order to avoid overwhelming hospitals.


Many pressing COVID-19 problems exist, but many (like not having enough ICU beds or ventilators) do not lend themselves to digital solutions. After considering the level of need and digitization of brainstormed problems, I identified that home care and tracing were the ones with the most potential.


To enable home care as best as possible, I created an app that triages people with cold and flu symptoms based on their symptoms, risk, and exposure. After determining a person's overall risk, the app offers care knowledge, tele-monitoring, and follow ups to ensure the person is getting treatment.


I brainstormed problems associated with COVID-19, which I analyzed based on level of need and potential to solve digitally. Then, I interviewed people with cold and flu symptoms and people who are treating COVID-19 patients in hospitals. Home care surfaced as a concern on both sides - people who are sick prefer to stay and treat at home if possible, and hospitals are already overwhelmed. With home care, I focused on the self-diagnosis flow because tele-medicine services for clinicians to screen and monitor patients remotely already exist. I combined the top concerns expressed by people who were sick with CDC information and recommendations regarding COVID-19 to create a self-diagnosis flow to triage people with cold and flu symptoms. A key part of self-diagnosis that doesn't exist yet in other tools is tracing potential exposure, and tracing is another top issue that surfaced during research. Thus, I also included a feature to make it easy to trace potential exposure to COVID-19.

Design System

I aimed to make the app simple and soothing for a user that is sick and stressed. The progress indicator that is at the top of most screens breaks the self-diagnosis flow down step by step. I also chose a calm teal as the base color, with yellow to highlight important information. To make tracing easier, I included the ability automatically detect instances of potential exposure to COVID-19 when the user shares his location. However, if the user does not wish to share, she can also manually mark instances on a map that displays locations where people diagnosed with COVID-19 have been and when. For further development, this self-diagnosis flow requires clinical input on the steps involved, and the tracing feature will only work if tracing data for diagnosed COVID-19 patients is available. The remainder of the app (after the self-diagnosis flow) also needs to be further expanded to include scheduling, telemedicine functionality, and a monitoring/follow up flow.