COVID-19 UX Research

Case Study Overview

Due to the nature of how respiratory viruses (like coronavirus) transmit between people, Australia has been practicing travel bans, isolation and social distancing. This response strategy is seen to be one of the most effective ways we can tackle the pandemic, but also has some devastating consequences on our economy. These consequences being a sudden need to shift towards a digitised economy (isolation) and globalised supply chains have been broken (travel bans).

Many companies have been ill equipped for these changes, and as a result have needed to downsize (pay cuts, workforce cuts), push for remote work (digitise as much as they can), and de-prioritise transformational/future strategic projects (in order to shift budgets to support the first two items).

Examples of unfortunate consequences from all this have been:

  • Many people have suddenly been laid off (because of budget restraints)
  • The job market has downsized due to new constraints (companies downsized, only remote work can be done, hiring internationally is difficult)

To demonstrate these scenarios and see where we can solve some problems, I’ve created two personas that reflect the challenges posed by the effects of the pandemic.

Target audience

Student who has just graduated and is looking for a job

  • I studied Media at TAFE. I no longer qualify for Youth Allowance, and am living on my own. My parents are in a different state, so I can’t just ‘simply’ move back home. I’m really scared about potentially losing my apartment. I was unable to save much money as a student, as I was relying heavily on Youth Allowance and a retail job to get by. I am looking for employment and to understand what my choices are. I hope to find a solution that’s sustainable for the long-term.


  • Income to survive Challenges:
  • Finding a job

Employee who has just been laid off is looking for a job I was a recruiter in a startup. We didn’t have enough runway to support my salary, so I was let go. I am looking for employment, but many People & Culture roles are being made redundant because of the pandemic. I am looking to see what other roles I can possibly find


  • Income to survive Challenges:
  • Finding a job

Although the goals of both personas are quite similar, you’ll notice there are factors that make the needs and experience quite different.


I followed the Google Design Sprint Process:

  1. Understand
  2. Diverge
  3. Decide
  4. Prototype
  5. Validate


Because of the shortened sprints, I have had limited time to find people to interview as well.

Understand Wed

Digging into the problem So looking at the context I’ve laid out, and the personas I’ve created, let’s look at the key points of this challenge:

  • We are trying to find a source of income
  • The job market is limited
  • We have extra physical constraints

To better understand context of this challenge, I’m going to do more research into:

  1. Current suggested options by the government
  2. What non-government resources look like 3 What other countries are doing
  3. Interview people about their experiences finding new sources of income

Understandably income is quite a sensitive topic, so I suspect I’ll have to keep the questions focused on the process and the experience, rather than the personal situation itself.

Understanding context - 1. Current suggested options by the government The Australian government has created a central COVID-19 Hub on several platforms, we’ll take a look at all the relevant components:

  1. The Job Hub website
  2. Financial support resources
  3. Employer resources
  4. State specific resources

…come back next week to read the rest!!