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The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in its form has changed a significant chunk of how people live their lives. From closing down most non-essential places of business, affecting many people’s health to requiring people to change how they travel, the pandemic has certainly changed many aspects of how people live in this society. While changing said aspects, COVID-19 has been at the centre of another growing pandemic, misinformation. From unreliable news sources to outdated maps, the effects of the pandemic have led to a lot of misinformation amongst the general public. In order to combat said information, our INF352 group has decided to create a one-stop application for all things COVID-19 related so that a potential user would have all reliable information such as maps, reliable sources, local guidelines etc. at one place, and designed this application keeping the user and their needs and comforts in mind. We designed this app for a mobile phone platform and this app lies in the health and information sector.


Step one of our design project was to research whether there was a need for our product to begin with and if there is, how would people use this potential application and what would they want in it? So we started to research by surveying people of all ages and genders in over 10 countries so that we would have a diverse slate of data in order to avoid any ethnocentrism in our application’s design. In the survey, we asked people if they knew much about COVI-19 and how they currently identify misinformation and asked where they get their current information from. Following the survey, we interviewed 10 people from our respondents and asked questions in more detail to get a better idea of how they manage information in this pandemic. We gathered all the data as we concluded there was a necessity for this application and proceeded to the next step. People, in general, have identified that they have been victims of misinformation in regard to the pandemic out of the vast majority of the 97.8% of people who have sought information in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Step two of our project involved creating a persona, or hypothetical user, with needs, requirements, and ideal features that would use our application. Using the information we researched, we created Benjamin Chen, a 23-year-old Canadian student who consumes the news on a daily basis and believes that most of the news he consumes in the media is biased. We used Benjamin’s persona to develop features for our application in order to match his needs. Using a persona has also helped us develop our application closely that can actually help a user rather than providing another application on their phones.

We personified Benjamin Chen using the information our respondents say, think, do, feel, and attributed to attribute said qualities.

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For step three, we laid out five needs statements for Benjamin to define what he would hypothetically need. We have then added five groups of ideas with both practical absurd ideas included. After grouping them together, we prioritized which ones would be more or less important for our application. 


Step four was the most important step in terms of developing our application. This step included designing how our application would look like, testing it by showing it to potential users, and adding or removing features to best fit the users' needs.

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We first designed out a low-fidelity prototype, which had the main screen, a home screen, a reliability reading list, a map, a local restrictions list, and statistics. Soon after, our potential users tested it and suggested we add some features and remove some. We then created our medium-fidelity prototype based on the feedback we received. 


Step five, the concluding step, included the final self-evolution of our project. We tracked our learnings, planned what we had to do moving forward, and individually evaluated each other. This reflection helped us understand and review how the design process works, and our application could potentially impact our users, and our society in general. 


From putting the group together in its initial stages to collaborating on how work is done, I played a significant role in this group project. I initially put together the group by openly posting on the Information group chat that they could join a group that I started if they did not have anyone to work with. After we put the group together, I organized the group together, broke a little of ice, and we set up the research and survey questions together. I also spread the research question to over 50 people around the globe to get a diversified group of responses. In addition, as a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I tried my level best to keep our work free of errors by proofreading and keeping the structure of our work consistent. I have consistently worked and organized our team to start our work well before the deadline to avoid last-minute work which decreases the quality of the work we submit. While working with Mural, I helped with designing and placing the elements and made sure that the size and colours were consistent with each other. Working on this project helped me reflect on how I can contribute to a group and how design works to help make the products that are user-centred. 

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