As the design and user research lead, our mission started as an explorative pilot to allow safe entrance at Fieldlab (pilot) events when recently tested negative on the coronavirus. However, as the pandemic progressed, the challenge at hand was adapting and following its lead. From designing a concept that turned a test result into a QR code to access specific events, we eventually rolled out the apps nationwide to grant access to crowded venues such as restaurants, theatres and bars based on a test, recovery or vaccination certificates. The team’s ultimate challenge was building a flexible solution for the entire Netherlands to make the pandemic livable.
Throughout the project, we designed and developed multiple covid certificate solutions. Next to the apps (both available for iOS and Android), we created additional resources to ensure the usage of CoronaCheck by each and every dutch inhabitant:
Eventually, four major app versions were released, with incremental changes in between. Where the first release only contained a QR based on a negative test usable in the Netherlands, the CoronaCheck app evolved around national and international policy and grew in functionality. The CoronaCheck app allows the user to create and use a covid certificate on the mobile phone. The team added the possibility of adding vaccination and recovery certificates and the ability to travel outside the Netherlands.
Where other countries comply with international or EU regulations, the Netherlands chose to have an additional, more privacy-friendly QR type for national use. Containing as little (sensitive) data as possible, the app only provides initials of users’ name and surname, day and month of birth, and the indication that the user has a valid certificate (not whether it is by test or vaccination).
CoronaCheck scanner app
Event organisers and locations use the scanner app to check visitors’ covid certificates. The app allows the scanner to check whether the certificate is valid and belongs to the visitor. Only with the necessary personal details (Initials + date of birth) the visitor is not traceable by their data set. Still, the scanner can check whether the certificate belongs to that specific person.
We conducted extensive quantitative research to design the most efficient way to check the necessary data with the ID card of the visitor.
CoronaCheck website – creating a paper proof
Additionally, we added a web portal, allowing users to print their QR codes on paper. This component was relevant to include inhabitants that do not own a smartphone. Besides that specific target group, having a paper proof in the pocket gave many users a safer feeling than relying on a smartphone app, especially when travelling.
Non-digital route – requesting a proof through the helpdesk
As the scope kept growing and the QR-code system was incorporated into daily life, the need for more support for the elderly and less digital-savvy people increased proportionally. But what if you do not own a mobile phone or a printer? Or making a digital certificate is too tricky for you? We set up a new solution besides the digital identification method where inhabitants could request paper covid certificates through a phone call with the helpdesk and send it to their home address.
Next to the channels above, the team was also involved in the set-up of supporting channels and materials. From helpdesk scripts to support less digital-savvy users in libraries and from supporting explanatory videos to ensuring all government communication was in line and tailored to each other.
In the past 1.5 years, the CoronaCheck app has been downloaded over 16 million times, and Dutch inhabitants created beyond 250 million Covid certificates.