In April 2020 I had a chance to take part in a volunteer project to design a decontamination kit for N95 masks. This project was initiated by Frolic Studio (Amsterdam) in response to the shortage of PPE supplies experienced in many countries. One of the ways to alleviate the shortage is to decontaminate and reuse the N95 masks that are marketed as single-use but in fact can last longer. The reuse is possible when correct methods and protocols of decontamination are applied.
Frolic Studio's kit is a decontamination box that anyone can build on their own using off-the-shelf supplies. It uses UV-C light which is a proven decontamination method.
See a full description on the Frolic Studio's website.
This was all-remote volunteer work in a team of designers and researchers from different countries, initiated and coordinated by Frolic Studio.
I worked on mapping the user experience of the toolkit in order to define what kinds of instructions the users need to receive, when and where.
There are many circumstances to account for, starting with the big question — should the product be meant for a hospital or a non-hospital environment? That is a choice as different kinds of regulations come into play.
There are all kinds of user experience moments that need to be accounted for, for example:
- Should you only decontaminate your own mask or can you load other people's masks into the box as well?
- Should the box be located in a 'clean' or a 'dirty' room?
- When would people have time to use it?
- How can you mark how many decontamination cycles you mask has been through?
The mapping that I did helped us see the complexities involved in some of the potential user experience flows. That helped the product team to:
- Choose the right product strategy;
- Design precise protocol instructions for the users.