Keeping Track of Your "COVID Bubble"

Emily Franey, Former Project Manager

Article Category: #News & Culture

Posted on

Keeping track of the ever-changing safety practices of those in your "COVID bubble" shouldn't be another thing you have to stress over. Last weekend a team of Viget employees used Pointless Weekend as a chance to create something to help.

Navigating the fluctuating safety recommendations and information disseminated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been confusing and difficult for many of us. We’re all doing our best to live these new versions of our lives and determine what being “safe” means to us.

These are things that have been on our minds at Viget since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Over the past year, we've had the opportunity to contribute to streamlining COVID-19 testing processes through our work on Project Beacon and scaling up telehealth software with startup Hippo Health

We also saw a need for a more informal way to help people keep track of the ever-changing safety practices of those in their social circle, or "bubble."

Recently, a team of Viget employees chose to use Pointless Weekend as an opportunity to build a useful tool for this more personal type of information gathering. Pointless Weekend is a Viget event that offers a chance to take ideas from concept to reality in roughly 48 hours.

Our Team

Our Name

Our project name is tied to the idea of the “COVID bubble” aka the people you’re in contact with the most, and maybe even willing to see in person, during the pandemic.

    Our Approach

    Given the short timeline, we started off by reining in scope and prioritizing features.

    Initially, we had some interesting conversations around calendar and social media integration options but decided they were not feasible to build out within this timeline. They also led to potential ethical and privacy considerations that we didn't think could be resolved in a single weekend. The final decision – information added to the app would only be viewable by the person who added it.

    We kept our approach focused on our main goal,  giving people a simple tool they could use to quickly compare their own safety practices with those in their "bubble."

    Our Focus

    • Build a mobile responsive web app (using Tailwind CSS and React).
    • Create a clear onboarding flow that includes the same questions whether adding information about your own safety practices or those of your friends and family.
    • Design a straightforward Profile UI that’s easy to scan at a glance to quickly compare safety practices  – in the context of other people in your bubble.
    • Create an activity tracker that allows you to keep a running log of recent activity, helping you make more informed social decisions.
    Onboarding flow during account creation.

    Our Brand Attributes

    • Trustworthy and approachable.
    • Responsible and playful.
    • Proactive and informal.

    Bubbel’s purpose is to take the stress out of yet another thing we all have to keep track of now. We knew it wasn’t a contact-tracing or CDC-backed app and we wanted our audience to know that too.

    This comes across in the playful designs and carefully chosen copy used throughout the app.

    Adding people to your bubble appears in your profile.

    Our Tools

    • Whimsical (wireframes)
    • Figma (design comps)
    • Google Docs (notes + determination of priorities)
    • Zoom (check-ins + working sessions)
    • Slack (quick touch points + updates)

    We collaborated using many of the same tools we use for client work. While we didn’t use Pointless as an opportunity to try completely new tools or processes, many of us were working with tools that were new to us. Not everyone works in creative tools like Figma or Whimsical on a regular basis. With no client involved and only a few days at our disposal, the sense of urgency was high but the stakes were low. This feeling of freedom to experiment and try new things gets at the heart of the Progress Not Perfection mantra here at Viget.

    We really wanted to have something that worked by the end of the weekend and by narrowing our vision early on, we did it!

    Our Results

    • By the end of the weekend we had designed and developed a working MVP for Bubbel.
    • The onboarding flow and profile worked just as we had envisioned it.
    • Whether we continue building out this project further or not, we all enjoyed collaborating efficiently and effectively to create something new.

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