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How a service is designed can impact how many people are able to use it. 

In this issue, we’re sharing some recent examples of how design has helped us make services more accessible and internal workflows more effective. 

An alphanumeric key (284 FKQ 889) being read out in numbers and words: “two, eight, four, family, kangaroo, question, eight, eight, eight, nine”.

Making a stressful time easier with content design

In many provinces and territories, healthcare workers will provide a one-time key to someone to enter into COVID Alert at the same time they tell that person they've tested positive for COVID-19. It’s an important interaction to make sure people can notify others of exposures, but it’s also a very stressful one. 

In this blog, we talk about how we’re using content design to communicate the one-time key to patients in a more accessible way during this stressful time.


A basketball court with four different team members on the court together.

How a design experiment improved our team collaboration 

In September 2019, a new designer joined the CDS team. He noticed an area of improvement for the design workflow, so tried playing around with new tools to make the process more collaborative. Turns out, this experiment was a successful one.

Read about how three designers and researchers started trying out a design tool, and why it has since grown to be used by more than 30 CDS designers, researchers, and developers across multiple teams - including those that worked on COVID Alert, Notify, and the COVID-19 benefits finder.


Help improve COVID Alert’s design

Since it launched in July, COVID Alert has gone through a series of improvements. This is thanks to people who shared their feedback about the app - what they found confusing, what they liked, or what they felt it was missing. 

We want to continue to make the app better for everyone. But we need your help. 

Sign up to take part in future testing and research. Your feedback will directly impact the usability and accessibility of COVID Alert. 

All people in Canada are encouraged to participate. This includes:

  • Healthcare workers
  • People using assisted devices 
  • People who don’t have the app
  • People who live outside of major cities
  • People whose first language isn’t English

Depending on the specific study, you may be eligible for compensation when you participate.

In the community:

FWD50 2020 ($)
November 3-9, 2020

Design Research Community of Practice: Advocating for underrepresented users
November 4, 2020

Women in Leadership in the Canadian Public Sector 
November 16-20, 2020

The Digital Government Atlas 2.0

FWDThinking Series 
FWD50 and Canada School of Public Service 

COVID-19 Learning Resources 
Canada School of Public Service

Work with us!

We're hiring for an: 

  • IT Operations and Security Lead

If you think this could be you, apply to join the team!

We want to hear from you, eh?

What parts of this newsletter did you like most? Is there anything you'd like to see that we haven't talked about?  Let us know.

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Canadian Digital Service · Government of Canada · 219 Laurier Ave W · Ottawa, ON K1P 5J6 · Canada