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NHS Test & Trace

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  • Role: Service Design Lead

  • Project: Optimising the Self-Isolation Journey

  • Duration: 2020

  • Location: London, United Kingdom

Service Design | UX | Research

In 2020, I led the Service Design team for the NHS Test & Trace initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our objective was to optimise the "trace" proposition by focusing on the self-isolation journey. Initial findings indicated a lack of adherence to self-isolation guidelines, and our goal was to understand and address this issue.

As the Service Design Lead, I managed the team, engaged with stakeholders, gathered essential information, and ensured our activities aligned with the project scope. The problem statement guiding our work was: "How do we get people to self-isolate effectively?" We examined both front-end and back-end processes to develop solutions encouraging adherence to self-isolation protocols.

Process and Activities:

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Desk Research:

  • Conducted thorough desk research using documents supplied by the NHS and other governmental bodies, as well as online resources.

  • Formulated critical questions and problem statements to guide our focus.


User Interviews:

  • Conducted interviews with individuals across the UK to understand their perceptions and experiences of self-isolation.

  • Developed user journeys and personas based on these interviews.



Journey Mapping:

  • Mapped the current self-isolation process against user journeys to identify discrepancies and points where individuals typically disengaged from the process.

  • Clustered pain points and opportunities to surface key themes.



Ideation and Visualisation:

  • Conducted ideation sessions using "How Might We" statements to generate solutions.

  • Created a visual representation of pain points along the user journey to identify opportunities for intervention.



Solution Development:

  • Designed a new self-isolation process incorporating several interventions aimed at improving adherence.

  • Proposed solutions were designed to address identified pain points and facilitate a smoother self-isolation journey.

Leading the service design efforts for the NHS Test & Trace team was a challenging yet rewarding experience. The urgency and significance of the project underscored the importance of our work in contributing to public health during a critical time. Through rigorous research, stakeholder engagement, and innovative design thinking, we developed solutions to address key barriers to effective self-isolation. The experience highlighted the impact of well-designed processes in promoting health and safety and reinforced the value of user-centred design in addressing complex public health issues.


Managed a multidisciplinary team to ensure the alignment of project activities with the overall goals.

Conducted comprehensive research and stakeholder engagement to inform the design process.

Developed user journeys, personas, and journey maps to identify and address critical pain points.


  • Created a new, optimised self-isolation process featuring targeted interventions to help individuals stay on track.

  • Provided actionable insights and solutions that contributed to improved adherence to self-isolation guidelines.

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