How to deliver a new government service in 36 hours

By sdbergqu

As March 2020 hit, the government issued COVID-19 information with increasing frequency. We looked for ways to better support citizens and health care workers. We determined a COVID-19 self-assessment tool would be helpful.

This online tool enables citizens to stay at home, assess their symptoms and find out if they need to call 811. It allows the government to provide guidance on next steps. We wanted to avoid people going to hospitals and health centres if they didn't need to. We also wanted to decrease the burden on front-line workers, including 811 staff.

We did not build the service from scratch

By March, other Canadian provinces had worked together to develop standard questions and flow for COVID-19 self-assessment. They made this work available for other jurisdictions to use.

We borrowed the content and flow from the Government of Alberta to make a Yukon version available in English and French.

Applying the Yukon.ca Design System

Using the content and flow as a starting point, our next step was to apply the Yukon.ca Design System. This system includes templates that are reusable and designed to be accessible and consistent. We built the design system so we can quickly apply it to a variety of government services like this one.

On Tuesday, March 24, we built a prototype based on the Government of Alberta’s questions and flow. From start to finish, this process took about 6 hours.

Working with Government of Yukon experts

Once we had a prototype, we worked with Department of Health and Social Services staff. They reviewed everything and then together we made live edits to the flow and questions.

By noon on Wednesday, March 25, we had a version we could launch to the public, which is what we did. Less than 36 hours from start to finish.

Improving the service

Since launching this service, we’ve collected feedback from users to improve the service. We've made key updates to its text and flow.

We’re using analytics to track how people access, use and exit the service. This information gives us clear indicators of where we need to make improvements.

You can provide us with feedback via the service or by commenting on this blog post.

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