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Making the NHS COVID-19 App more engaging

Following on from our essay The NHS COVID-19 App, Separating Fact from Fiction, which focussed mainly on the technical challenges and understanding the privacy risks, this article looks more at engagement with the App, and quite simply is it engaging enough to keep people using it?

 

The NHS COVID-19 App – Making it more Engaging

A Blog Comment by Steve Clark

27th May 2020

Download the PDF of the full comment

 

Introduction

Following on from my essay “The NHS COVID-19 App, Separating Fact from Fiction”, which focussed mainly on the technical challenges and understanding the privacy risks, this article looks more at engagement with the App, and quite simply is it engaging enough to keep people using it?

Monitoring social media here on the Isle of Wight, whilst there has been a lot positive said about the App, where there has been dissent much of the early concerns about privacy have given way to disinterest and boredom with a degree of anecdotal evidence to suggest some people are deleting the App because it doesn’t appear to be doing anything, and others because they are becoming confused by the messages it is sending and think it “isn’t working” properly.

As a lifelong technologist who has worked delivering customer facing software, products and services and with over 30 years with a career that spans computer games, multimedia and the growth of the web, e-commerce, interactive TV, mobile and even e-gambling, I’ve been at the leading edge of Customer Usability and User Experience and I’m certainly not convinced this App is engaging enough.

OK it doesn’t need to be engaging in the traditional sense but we are being told that to be truly successful as part of the wider track and trace programme the App needs to be installed AND used at all times by 60%+ of the adult population.

Any marketeer will tell you the same thing which is customer acquisition is part of the battle but retention is key to winning the war.  So should the App be using some of the techniques used by more commercial offerings?

The comment proffers solutions to these problems.

Download the PDF of the full comment