Designing for COVID-19

Brian Etheridge
Apr 1, 2020 · 3 min read

In recent events, COVID-19 is affecting everyone and everything in sight. It has been a few weeks since it has gotten worse and yet people are still trying to live their lives without realizing that they are not helping the situation right now. However, that is not what I will be talking about today. Instead, I would like to talk about another virus that is spreading at the same rate a COVID-19: hysteria.

Hysteria and COVID-19

I am not the first to say this, but there has been a rapid spread of hysteria that around the same time COVID-19 came to the United States. As a frequent flyer of the web, I have been seeing media sites, people, and groups spreading wrong information and communicating poorly to the public about this situation. And as a designer, this is quickly becoming my nightmare.

When you are a designer, one of your many goals is to deliver information to your target audience clearly and concisely that will make them take action (that’s right, we are talking about the call-to-action (CTA) here). With that said, I am struggling to see how the new, corrected information is being delivered to the public in that way. The way we digest media involves tangling web (that is made up of the new, social media, blog, etc.) that a lot of people struggle to get through just to get some information that can help calm their anxieties.

At least to me, this sounds like a design problem waiting to be solved.

Design for COVID-19

I think we can all agree that COVID-19 is everyone’s priority at this moment, right? Everyone wants to know what is going on, but there is so much information out there it’s almost overwhelming. So, of course, you have people overcoming hysteria, because you have too many voices saying what is “right” and trusting different sources that add to the problem rather than helping it.

There is something that can be done, we can design for COVID-19. What that simply means design a communication network that is clear and concise to get the correct and accurate information to the public in the quickest way possible. Or we could have a universal language that is both nonalarming and strictly informational to reduce uneducated people on the topic being misinformed. These two ideas are may not be the answer, it is a starting point for this conversation.

You do not have to be a designer to think about how you can organize and present information, so start the talk and use the #designforcovid to talk to people and get their take.

Even a small design can make an impact.

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