These are interesting times for designers and developers of tech solutions as new needs arise and we see how quickly things can get turned around when there’s an urgent demand. On Monday The Guardian reported on how a ventilator was designed and built in fewer than 10 days by a team of engineers, doctors and the Mercedes Formula One team to keep Covid- 19 patients out of intensive care. A fantastic example of using newly freed up resources to react quickly to the demands of the current situation we find ourselves in. As a small company with a lot of experience moving processes online, we also have plenty of flexibility and a strong desire to be useful, so we’re in an excellent position to develop web applications that could be of real help during this time. Brains have already been whirring at Proper Design HQ (that is, our individual homes at the moment of course). Here are some of the ideas that we think could warrant further brain-time.

Education: what platforms are available to help parents and teachers with homeschooling? We were already working on a new type of online platform for schools before the current crisis hit – we’re now talking to our client about potential new uses for this application. 

Medical: how can we support GPs and specialist teams who’ve been redeployed to deliver essential services when face to face contact is limited? What services could be supported or delivered via a web application? A few that spring to mind are repeat prescriptions,  contraception, and test results. What features might an application need that would make it specific to these healthcare services? 

Community: what can we do to help people in their communities, especially the vulnerable? Within hours of the lockdown, hundreds of support groups popped up on Facebook with volunteers offering assistance to their neighbours. We’re thinking about apps designed to help people with things like shopping for friends and family and ways to check in with neighbours – helping to ensure that vulnerable people are able to get the support they need. 

We’d love to hear your ideas about what’s needed at this time. Get in touch if you think we can help.