Let’s Gamify the s%^T out of COVID!

With the continuing invention of new tiers, I think it is clear that there has to be a better way of informing the public where they stand regarding the coronavirus. Why not, I thought, make it a little more fun and interactive and use gamification. 

If you think about it, this is pretty easy to do. The data is well-formed, well-known, simple, and granular enough to know your road and house number. Although, for my purposes, we only really need to care about the borough/area.

So, what do I propose? Well for a start, let’s define ourselves some transparent Tier systems with boundaries. The lack of definition causes confusion and a sense of helplessness. 

For example:

  • Tier 1 under W per 10,000
  • Tier 2 under X per 10,000
  • Tier 3 under Y per 10,000
  • Tier 4 under Z per 10,000

With just this, you can tell how close you are to a boundary, how fast you are likely to pass a boundary-limit, i.e. W, X, Y Z; with the current rise or fall rates. 

With this extra knowledge, we can easily set an expectation of tier change when a boundary is for a region or borough. Perhaps some might be even more inclined to see their actions, along with others, have a clear and lasting effect on the numbers rather than the party till you drop the hours before a change. The functionality to show this could easily add this to the NHS Covid App, presented on the BCC site and others; as a plugin. 

But more than that, why not Gamify the texts and emails, add badges to the App to say how well you are doing or how long is expected (based on trajectory) until the (cafes, restaurants, gyms) open again. You could also earn badges for wearing masks, calling older loved ones, ordering online, helping someone out, going for a walk. I am sure some would get into this like, I’d at least find it interesting. Maybe, you know people would love to be a covid local Hero and share it on social media. Plus, I think it might well be great for the younger kids who could get a blue Peter badge for reaching a goal; my kids use to do anything to get there.

Maybe also start changing the messages, so we have some form of notification messaging that is well thought out and useful. The current paired NHS test and trace emails and texts are awful and made more so because I get three sets. Why because as a parent I registered for my daughter and had to go through the whole track and trace three times as it has no linkage that we are in the same household; it was genuinely architected by morons. Give me something useful in the messages if you want to get my attention and not just ignore them!

Anyway, I have pointed out before the NHS Covid App is a waste of space and money, but, maybe a little change would make me rate the thinkers behind it a little more; if they did it for free more so!

At Incendiary Blue, we created a friendly habit-breaking App for Glaxo Smith Kline, that got there best users testing results ever for an App! These things need a little bit of thought and talent. I’m just worried I just put in more than the Covid app team in typing this; whilst feeling a little unwell having covid! 

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