Joe Lanman - designer
Coronavirus Extremely Vulnerable People
Please note this was a sensitive service, I may be able to share more detail directly.
In 2020 the UK entered its first Coronavirus lockdown. It was a scary and distressing time - many people were dying and many more seriously ill.
In this uncertain context and with a sudden switch to all-remote working, the civil service rapidly developed services to try and help.
People who were particularly medically vulnerable to the virus (for example having a weakened immune system) were told to avoid going out at all. GDS, with other departments and the NHS, created a service to support them.
Initially the service provided regular boxes of food and essential supplies, and later added priority supermarket delivery slots.
During this time the service provided more than 4.2 million deliveries of essential supplies, helping vulnerable people stay safe.
I joined the team just after the first version of the site had gone live.
As part of a multidisciplinary team, I led the service and interaction design. Some examples of my work include:
Mapping out both the data flow and user journeys. The service had been spun up very quickly and involved many departments, the NHS and supermarkets. My maps were really useful in meetings to make sure everyone had an accurate, shared understanding of the service. From research and feedback, I added all the problems we knew of to the map, so we could work on and resolve them.
Redesigning key points in the service in order to help everyone who needed it. For example an early version required a letter from your doctor. We knew from research that there were various reasons why a vulnerable person may not have that letter. They should still be able to apply - we would match their data against NHS records in order to check their eligibility.
Helping to resolve the question of whether and how to introduce a sign-in/account system for the service. Accounts can be helpful, but there are downsides including the complication of usernames and passwords, and the risk of the wrong people potentially being able to see sensitive data. We decided to add an account as an optional step, so it wouldnt be a blocker, and worked closely with NHS Login to integrate it in the best way.
The Coronavirus Extremely Vulnerable People service is no longer online.