To support state health authorities in implementing Apple and Google’s recently released COVID-19 exposure notifications app framework, WillowTree created an open-source design system for these mobile apps, accessible to anyone via Figma.
In May 2020, Apple and Google released a privacy-forward exposure notifications framework to support COVID-19 response efforts for contact tracing across the globe. Once a user opts-in to the functionality via a health authority’s mobile app, identifier ‘keys’ are collected from others they come in contact with based on duration of contact and distance. Then, if someone you’ve been in contact with over the last 15 days reports they have tested positive for COVID-19, you would receive a push notification that you’ve been exposed to someone who was potentially contagious. The framework is designed to augment conventional forms of contact tracing, not replace it. Conventional contact tracing is a method to help slow and manage the spread of disease that requires manual data collection from people who test positive, and every state health authority has an effort underway to facilitate it.
When this contact tracing technology was released, we jumped at the opportunity to help organizations implement the technology. The challenge is that (reasonably) Apple and Google are only granting access to the framework to developers associated with state health authorities, as in order for the system to be most effective, having more centralized databases based on region will bolster the system’s efficacy.
Rather than try to engage every state health department about building this functionality for them — and knowing that many health authorities have talented and effective software engineering teams, we instead decided to release a design system for the Exposure Notifications app framework for iOS and Android. The library contains all UX flows, mobile screens, assets, messages that a health authority would need to stand up their own exposure notifications app with their development team. It was created in Figma, and the system is completely free to use and is open source. Access it here.