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A woman wearing a mask grocery shopping for fresh produce.

Visualizing the Impact of Social Distancing

Coforma continuously improved Camber's Social Distancing Reporter app design, with near-daily releases of new code to production culminating in major functionality releases that enables users to access mobility data analytics that help shape COVID-19 policies locally.

The Challenge

Client name(s):
Camber Systems
Partner name(s):
Delivery Date:
April 28, 2020

Camber wanted to improve their mobility data visualizations to ensure city health officials, scientists, and journalists have reliable, privacy-protected data as they shape critical logistics decisions, infrastructure and resource allocations, and healthcare policies in the fight against COVID-19.

COVID-19 created crises on every scale, and problems would only compound over time if policymakers waited for a vaccine to relieve them. But there’s an empirical way to minimize damage and maximize recovery.

Camber’s data analytics aid in this effort by:

  • Informing decisions about where to put resources

  • Indicating where to increase social distancing measures

  • Revealing where it’s safe to to reopen businesses and/or schools

  • Tracking the efficacy of new policies

Contact tracing alone wasn’t enough to understand how a pandemic is evolving. Their team could use location data for tracing infections and disease surveillance, so they sought to contextualize location data in a unique way—by tracking not just how far people travel but also how predictable their movement is.

We helped Camber present this information to decision makers by designing, developing, and deploying an updated design system as quickly as possible.

Navin Vembar, PhD
Coforma has been a joy to work with. They worked with us on a COVID-19-related project, understood its importance, grasped its complexity, and quickly implemented thoughtful strategies and solutions with us. They truly were partners with us. Their skills in technology, design, and messaging were vital to our success.
Navin Vembar, PhDCofounder, CTOCamber Systems

Our Approach

Coforma improved the design and developed updates to present the public with a user-friendly tool that had increased functionality.

Knowing that this tool could start saving lives immediately, Coforma used a lean, iterative approach to design, develop, and deploy an updated design system for Camber in just three weeks. The design process began and ended with an audit of the existing design looking for observable gaps and opportunities. This continuous audit was the foundation that allowed us to identify four key goals for the final updated product: that it would be accessible, usable, informative, and unique.

The first major overhaul of the tool was delivered on the second day of the project, one week ahead of schedule.

Tracking work travel to better understand social distancing patterns.

Creating an initial system laid the groundwork for the next few weeks, over which the visual design grew, transformed, and was continuously cleaned up. As new data was coming in, we updated and improved the ongoing analytics, information hierarchy, and interaction design to accommodate an expanding tool.

The Social Distancing Reporter evolved from one line graph to two models of shifting daily trends, expanded to include visualizations, and gave breathing room to very dense data sets. Camber now provides policymakers and researchers across the country with up-to-date data on the efficacy of local public health actions through the Social Distancing Reporter. Minnesota and other state governments have used the tool to help solve some of the toughest questions surrounding responses to COVID-19.

An Improved Tool

The final Social Distancing Reporter tool both visualizes the mobility data collected by Camber Systems and serves as a flexible design framework allowing for rapid updates to that information. Every day, mobility data is added to the system to give a current picture of the country’s direction.

You can search up-to-date data at the county level.

You can search up-to-date data at the county level.

Localized Data

Every day, mobility data is added to the system to give a current picture of the country’s direction.

Graph showing unpredictability of movement.

Visualizing data helps policy makers understand what’s going on locally.

Informed Public Policy Around COVID-19

Policies around social distancing are developed by local governments. Public policy officials and decision makers need quality mobility data as well as other inputs to make the best decisions for their communities.

Project Team

  • AngelaAngela HopkinsCopywriter & Editor
  • DerekDerek KinsmanFront-End Developer
  • KevinKevin SharonDesigner
  • YoniYoni KnollProject Manager & Technical Lead