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The ideal covid-19 app for your grandmother

After two years, the Coronavirus remains a threat to many, and self-testing is a way to impede the virus to propagate. However, self-tests are not as easy for everyone. As covid self-tests have a certain range of difficulty for elderly people, it is necessary to create a guide to help elderly people take a covid-test. Our team designed a covid-19 guidance app to support people taking a self-test, in an easy and reliable manner, respecting the medical context of the Netherlands.

Elderly people are among those who are the most vulnerable to covid-19. There are some ways to prevent coronavirus impact, the main ones are vaccination, testing by experts (PCR or antigen), and self-test. Self-test is an economic and a more informal way of verifying regularly the covid diagnosis.

However, studies have shown that too often elderly people do not use the test the right way or are unable to effectively collect the sample needed. We were tasked with creating a solution that enhances the overall test accuracy and effectiveness of the covid-19 self-test. So, we came up with a guided covid-19 app that is ideal for Dutch elderly self-testing.

Research the context

After receiving the brief, it was not still clear what we had to do, so some questions emerged in the team:

  • Why is self-testing really important? How efficient was it? Are there more affected groups?
  • How do people perform the test in terms of results, overall performance, and frequency? What is the self-test experience? And what is the margin of progress?
  • What is the best way of taking a self-test? And what are the wrong ways

Credible secondary research shows that there is a significant margin of self-test improvement, and also a covid self-test is a reasonably efficient method of slowing down the spread of the virus. This improvement is especially clear in the frequency people perform the test themselves. Also, the most affected group was by far the elderly group.

The primary research showed that taking a self-test can be hard for some people, especially the ones that feel more confident about their own performance.

The secondary research, in regards to the market of this specific context, demonstrated that currently there was no app in the market for the current problem, and so, the existing solutions had several design problems, such as fast-paced, not being able to stop a video, excessive steps, and not having clear videos.

Design decisions in the research

After concluding the research, we took several decisions:

  • The central idea is an app with videos of every step;
  • Elderly as the target group;
  • Smartphones focused (and video-focused);
  • The app should start in the Netherland in the beginning;
  • Make it easier, simple, slow, and reliable (credible and differentiate);
  • The app should connect with the GGD and GP (Dutch Healthcare system);

Market Research

Self-testing guidance is encouraged but there is not a solid offer in the market. The ways to tackle covid tests at the time were mostly clustered into Youtube/platform videos & an app from Navica, in the USA.


  • GoApp focused on young people.
  • Compliment with a hospital network,
  • they recommend other ways to make people healthier,
  • they have an intuitive approach in terms of UX.
  • Also, their idea has market validation and also comes to form a company that is credible in the market.
  • The weaknesses of this app are the sizes of images and copies, and also the content of them.

After reviewing our research, we came to the conlusion that our solution needed to follow these principles:

  • Make our designed app more focused on the target group, according to the research made in peer-review;
  • More focused on copy and images;
  • Focused on elderly people as a target group;
  • Only focused on one single task;

Developing the solution

Since ScanMyTest is a medical app focused on improving the health of people, it was important to be careful in the way we designed the app. Designing a health app can be risky because a lot of variables can go wrong.

Here were some of our main points of concern:

  • Understand the medical side (by interviewing specialists in the area)
  • Covid-tests can be harmful;
  • Accessibility is key for this target group;
  • The videos should be slow, clear, and straightforward language;
  • We should take into consideration the Dutch Healthcare system (GPs and GDD)

At this stage, the problem started to get more specific: we need to improve the steps of covid self-tests. Therefore, this is the structure we proceeded with in the design challenge:

  1. Subdivide the whole test sequence
    a. Understand which steps are more important to cover and how
  2. Create wireframes to potentially help solve the problem (physical wireframes)
  3. Create videos to guide people
  4. Test these wireframes with relevant people associated with the target group
  5. Improve the wireframes, and create then low-fidelity prototypes (on Figma)
  6. Test the prototypes and then make them perfect

Covid-19 app for elderlies self-testing

By collecting a wide range of research and understanding fully the context of the problem of low frequency and accuracy of self-test, our team filtered the ideas to create a solution that is reliable, visual, and research-geared that attends exactly the needs in this context and fits the conventions of the market and target group.

Interestingly, a great part of the user testers stated “This app is perfect for my grandmother” and that is the exact feeling our team desired to attain.

Self-test was hard for some people. But not anymore as hard. We created a solution that clearly helps seniors to perform, and substantially, improves the accuracy and frequency of self-tests.

Digital products should be clearly seen as a way to save and enhance people's lives.

With this app, elderlies can feel safe and enhanced in corona times.

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