Chara
UX designer

UC Berkeley Mobile App

A mobile app for staff and students’ safe return to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic

DURATION

Aug 2020 - August 2021

TEAM

1 UX Designer (myself), 4 student developers and designers

SKILLS USED

UX Design, Service Lead, User Research, Supervisor of 4 students, Sprint Planning, HTML and CSS

TOOLS

Figma

Project Overview

During the summer of 2020, UC Berkeley prepared for a return of over 55,000 students and employees to the UC Berkeley campus. I was tasked with designing and managing the mobile app for the recovery effort.

Stakeholder Goals

  • Ensure healthy campus population

  • Mandate symptom screening

  • Communicate protocols

End User Goals

  • Knowing the campus plan for safety

  • Decision making support via data

  • Guidance regarding protocols

UC Berkeley Mobile App

Delivery Timeline

August 2020: User interviews > Trial launch > Usability Testing

September 2020: Findings and recommendations reported to campus leadership

October 2020: Project funded > Budget allocation > Student staff onboarding

October - July 2021: Design > Development > Re-launch

August 2021 - June 2022: Adoption > Maintenance

User Research
UC Berkeley Mobile App

User Interviews

I interviewed 10 staff members and students to discover their needs and assess how a how a mobile app could assist students and staff's needs during the pandemic.

“Is it going to be safe? My building has rows of cubicles.” - Staff Member“

I'm afraid there could potentially be outbreak on campus” - Student

“I'm anxious to return to campus.“ - Staff Member

UC Berkeley Mobile App

User Surveys

I surveyed 110 staff and students to gather their sentiment on proof-of-concept app features. These insights helped me understand the portions of the app which users found most useful.

Empathy Map of UC Berkeley Students in August 2020

Empathy Map of UC Berkeley Students in August 2020

User Needs

Based on participant input, staff and student concerns could be boiled down to the following questions:

  • How can I know whether returning to campus is safe?

  • What is the plan and protocol for returning to campus?

  • What actions can I take to ensure the safety of myself and others?

User needs aligned directly with stakeholder's goals for the UC Berkeley Mobile App effort as well as the campus wide recovery effort.

App Project Funding

Presentation to Leadership

I communicated findings and recommendations from the interview, the survey, and the initial launch to UC Berkeley's department of IT leadership. I included quotes from interviewees as well as their audio recording to relay user's direct words to decision makers and stakeholders of the app.

I conducted the presentation on September 10, 2020.

IT Leadership made a decision to allocate a full time designer (myself) and funding toward the app for development.

Design
UC Berkeley Mobile App

How can I know whether returning to campus is safe?

I designed a high level summary of campus wide COVID statistics within the app. Although this app version was never implemented, a campus COVID Dashboard was published via Tableau allowing students to view COVID positivity rates, letting them gauge the risk of being on campus. The dashboard was easily accessible from the app.

What is the plan and protocol for returning to campus?

A COVID news page displayed all campus updates relating to policy changes. I designed the navigation to the collection of news articles.

What actions can I take to ensure the safety of myself and others?

The "Campus Access Badge" compiles criteria required to comply with campus health and safety policy on a single interactive screen and easily accessed steps for compliance.

I designed and created the page using HTML and CSS.

Outcome

The app was adopted campus wide within the response and recovery effort and return to campus strategy.

Analytics (September 2021)

  • 14k users / day

  • 86k views / day

  • 30k downloads

Access to Information

The top visited content screens (more than 4000 views a week) within the app as of January 2022 were COVID testing instructions and COVID building hours.

Vaccination Rate

The app bolstered a mandate for vaccinations and booster shots. Campus vaccination rates reached 98.8% among students and 93.4% among staff by March 2022.