Life as we knew it came to a halt in 2020. Major climate, social and public health events rocked the world, challenging what was “normal” and forcing people to confront their thoughts and actions. 

The spread of COVID-19 forced many countries to enforce national lockdowns. During the lockdown, essential workers, doctors, nurses, first responders, and grocery store workers were the only people to continue working among the public, to manage the spread of the virus. At the same time, the majority of the workforce began to work remotely, and 22 million people lost their jobs (Long, 2020)  in the United States alone. 

Introduction

Statement of Problem

At the beginning of any novel virus, such as SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, researchers do not have information on how it is transmitted from person to person. As a result, Public health officials stressed the importance of practicing social distancing and handwashing (Billingsley, 2020) in the hope of flattening the curve of infection. 

COVID-19 spread exceptionally quickly across the world. Countries began mandating nationwide lockdowns to reduce the spread and resulted in many workers losing their jobs, income, and medical insurance. Lockdowns and home quarantines caused a new or heightened sense of anxiety and depression, with many people the inability to pay for mental health therapy.  

Purpose

How can existing and/or new mental health issues be managed during a time of social People worldwide have lost their jobs and health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have not lost their skills? A controlled bartering system may provide a pathway to manage their new and continued mental health issues. 

Research question

Because of job insecurity and reduced financial stability, how can a bartering system be used for mental health therapy instead of traditional monetary payment payments? 

Design Intervention

Personas

a persona sheet
a persona sheet

Experience Maps

an experience map
an experience map

Storyboard

a storyboard

Prototype: Skill Swap App

Site map

Brand guidelines

An Adobe XD prototype was designed to demonstrate how Skill Swap would function.

a branding guidelines sheet
screens from the app

Sources

Billingsley, Alyssa. “The Novel Coronavirus: What Are Novel Viruses, and How Do They Impact Public Health?” GoodRx, Apr. 2020, www.goodrx.com/blog/what-does-novel-coronavirus-mean-science-medical-definition/. 

Long, H. (2020, April, 17). “U.S. Now Has 22 Million Unemployed, Wiping out a Decade of Job Gains.” The Washington Post, WP Company, www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/16/
unemployment-claims-coronavirus/.