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  • Aparna Ghantasala

Let us bring order in chaos. UX Response to COVID-19.

Can UX Designers make a difference? With the outbreak of Coronavirus, the world just changed with a blink of an eye. It all seems like we just dived into a bad dream and got stuck in quarantine and unable to move. It has changed how we all think and perceive situations around us.

Being a UX designer it got me thinking how can we help in this intense pandemic situation? We are not front end workers like doctors, nurses, or experts in the medical field, but can we contribute something to the situation? UX Designers can empathize with people, to develop systems that influence people and together we can fight during these challenging times.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is spreading globally and has got everyone worried a globally. Everyone is in panicking which is leading to strange behavior like excessive buying of toilet paper, water, sanitizers, leaving little for those who are in extreme need.

We can’t be swallowed into this huge wave of panic and put ourselves and others in trouble. So, let us ask ourselves, is panic buying a problem? Why is there chaos during the pandemic? Can we educate people to create a systematic flow to avoid chaos?

Educating people through academic talks isn't working as many people assume to know better with the best judgement, especially in times like this. People are relying on social media for information, even more so, modifying these posts with relatable knowledge and superstitious information, and circulating false information. No one checks the credibility of the information with accountable websites like the World Health Organization (WHO) or other health-related websites or health manuals.

The pandemic is the best time for UX Designers to come together to collect first-hand information on how people feel and think in stressful situations like these and how they wish to contribute to the community during this time. There is no solution right now, but we can analyze the problems and help people communicate and behave better.

We can begin with a UX problem “How can people be well informed , well equipped and comfortable in this situation - The pandemic?”. UX Designers can explore the effects of being misinformed, develop a vision and context statements to explore ideas to evolve as a community. Such learnings could be transferable during other critical situation when the people’s mindsets resonate similarly.

Communication is the key to reduce panic and related actions among the community. Knowing how people perceive a tough situation, understanding their strengths, fears and immediate needs is useful to understand the situation better and help people should be able to evolve in a context and deal with it sensibly.

If we come together as a UX Community and each UX Designer comes up with one idea each, to help improve the situation during this pandemic, I am sure that we can reduce worry, anxiety and control panic behavior to make people feel safe and support their mental health.

Mental health is a challenge I see that might be a concern in the upcoming weeks and our ideas and solutions could be the UX response to coronavirus. Positive thinking and indulging in activities might help people feel confident and safe to improve mental health and overall situation.

So, Can UX response save lives ..maybe? If nothing else, it can make lives better.


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