Cabinet Office – Covid Dashbords

Designing tools to visualise data and track incidents that may require a response from Central Government

Client

Cabinet Office & National Situation Centre

Project dates

2020 – 2022

Platforms

Web

Project summary

Covid cases and deaths were dramatically on the rise. I was part of an emergency taskforce to develop tools to enable Data Analysts to visualise key statistics, data and trends on the UK’s COVID-19 situation. We developed what became dubbed the Covid Dashboards that had a critical role during the pandemic as a tool to brief the Prime Minister and Senior Officials in bi-weekly and sometimes daily briefings with the latest data surrounding COVID-

 

Strategy

Our focus was on the speed and urgency needed to get a dashboard live. I had to work at pace to translate needs and requirements into user journeys and screen designs. As the only Designer in the team this meant creating user journeys and the visual designs for screen and component.

Project summary

I was the only Designer as part of a Data and Analysis team developing tools to visualise key statistics, data and trends on the UK’s COVID-19 situation. We developed what became dubbed the Covid Dashboards that had a critical role during the pandemic as a tool to brief the Prime Minister and Senior Officials in bi-weekly and sometimes daily briefings with the latest data surrounding COVID-

 

Strategy

19 situation. I had to work at pace to gather needs and requirements for analysts to curate and publish data thematically. This resulted in me extending the GDS Design system to create bespoke content management tools and new data visualisation components to display key metrics. I took ownership of establishing iterative and collaborative product development processes with users and stakeholders when the Dashboards were cloned by a new Directorate, The National Situation Centre, to develop additional tools to monitor situations and contextualise impacts and risks for the UK. I conducted a round of Discovery to uncover needs which resulted in developing a Live Reporting tool to track emerging incidents and prepare for situations that require a coordinated response from central Government.

Task

We were developing two new capabilities as part of this project:

  • Depth of field technologies
  • Sharing on social media channels

The Refocus App took a burst of photos at multiple focus depths. The algorithms in the app then worked to separate foreground and background elements to create unique effects. For example blurring backgrounds, colourising individual objects, and putting everything in sharp focus.

Key achievements

Extending the GDS Design system with components and page layouts optimised for presenting data and trends.

Creating publishing and curation tools for analysts to link data to themes

Define and refine access permissions and simplified the login process

User flow for the Refocus appRefocusRefocus_FTU_1800-min

Results

Nokia Refocus was launched at Nokia World, October 2013. See the video here

Features:

  • Change point of focus (blur) a photo
  • “All in Focus” put foreground and background elements into sharp focus
  • “Colour pop” Re-colour an element in the image
  • Share a Refocus image and let your friends interact with the image themselves online

Ultimately the app had a very niche use case a version 2 was not developed. From a process point it view it showed how dev and design could rapidly develop a proof of concept, refine and release it with minimal overheads. Although the App was not hugely popular it did develop important capabilities such as background blur seen in mobile camera/editing apps and desktop apps today. It also was a important in terms of moving content off the device to equivalent web storage and editing.