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Building great digital services during a crisis
Lucy Ha, Product and Delivery Management Graduate, explains how the NHS digital service manual is helping organisations quickly build accessible, consistent digital products and services needed to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
7 July 2020
Just 10 days before lockdown began in March 2020, I joined the NHS Digital service manual team as a Product and Delivery Management Graduate. I had an expectation that I would only be working on the NHS digital service manual, with the opportunity to take the time to learn about it and develop my skills.
Instead, I was thrown in at the deep end and tasked with helping to design crucial digital services to help with the COVID-19 response, such as the coronavirus antigen testing service for the public on the NHS website.
Delivering projects at a pace I’m not used to and working with teams I hadn’t known for very long has been both challenging and rewarding. Being a product manager, and as someone new to building these services, the service manual was a crucial resource to help me understand all the tools the team uses to build consistent and accessible services.
The pandemic was not on a roadmap. We could not plan for resources, anticipate user needs or have the privilege of time to plan and build products and services in response to it.
The projects I have been involved with have been delivered at pace but have always complied with the design principles. I was able to see the benefit of using prototypes, built quickly using the prototype kit, to test the service with users. I also had the opportunity to be involved with some of the user research interviews which helped me understand the importance of good content design and good interaction design.
Playing a part in the response to the coronavirus pandemic has enabled me to see first-hand some of the amazing work that has been produced in such short periods of time. It has made me incredibly proud to work for NHS Digital.
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