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#TogetherAsOne Spotlight: Hungary UX Team Helps Red Cross Design COVID-19 Information Page

Recently, EPAM’s UX team in Hungary dedicated pro-bono development resources for the Hungarian Red Cross COVID-19 information website, working to optimize the user experience (UX) on the donation collection page to maximize contributions and launch a page with up-to-date crisis response information. This project follows work that EPAM previously undertook for Hungary's Red Cross team – rethinking and redesigning their website as well as developing and launching their blood donation app. In our first #TogetherAsOne spotlight, we share more about how our Hungary UX team used their technical expertise to support their local community’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

One of the leaders of the UX team, Zoltan Radanyi, Director, Experience Design, said that the main driver behind the team’s work was the opportunity to come #TogetherAsOne to use “our expertise to help support an organization that is important for us and many other people in our country.” Since the UX team had previously worked with the Red Cross, their collaborative relationship enabled the team to quickly deliver important new developments during these challenging times.

“When we first created the new website for the Red Cross, we created a mini site template for disasters, where the Red Cross could publish information, create galleries, separate new sections and constantly update real-time information to help keep people safe and in-the-know,” explained Bence Gajdos, Lead Experience Designer and another leader of the UX team in Hungary. This template can be updated with support from the EPAM UX team as more information about COVID-19 and relief efforts supported by the Red Cross is released. The UX team sees this continued work as fulfilling one of the main challenges they faced when they first updated the site in 2017 – to help the Red Cross be responsive to new situations and the needs of users looking for information as well as to adopt the mindset that user experience is never-ending.

“For our team, the whole Red Cross project has been like our baby,” Zoltan said. The team views the ongoing work as a great way to show value to the organization that user design matters and can help them support communities across Hungary with user-friendly design, so people get accurate information, quickly—especially in times of critical need. “Our team, and others at EPAM, also look for ways where we can help in times of crisis,” Zoltan continued. “To focus on this project as experienced designers trying to help the end user—people who need support and information to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy—made our work meaningful because we know we can help by sharing our knowledge and expertise with the Red Cross.”

Included in that knowledge-sharing is the UX team’s continuous support to better educate the Red Cross to use the tools available to them in the site build, including their continued work on the blood donation website. Part of the problem the Red Cross was facing was figuring out how to get information out to potential donors, specifically information focused on how they can donate safely while still adhering to social distancing guidelines. Though the site had been improved by EPAM’s previous work, the organization still found it difficult to share the information rapidly through the website—their main channel for sharing information—among all the other resources they provide.

The team’s solution to the problem of blood donors not being able to easily find the information they needed to safely donate blood? They built an integrated module based on information from the Hungarian national blood donation registry of sites that were open and practicing safe distancing and disinfection measures. When users visit that module, they can search for open centers near them and learn how they can donate safely.

Additionally, the UX team continued to design and optimize the financial donation page, so website visitors can keep helping the Red Cross acquire funds for hospital systems and frontline healthcare workers. Included in that section are donation amount trackers and transparent information about where the money goes for relief efforts – whether it’s spent to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers or to support public information campaigns. “This is especially important because it helps maintain trust in the Red Cross. This feature was not a part of the previous site, but now that we built it, people can see the impact they can help make for their local communities,” said Bence.

“The Communications Department at the Hungarian Red Cross is very thankful for the support provided by EPAM,” said Zoltán Somody, Head of Communications, Hungarian Red Cross. “In Hungary, the Red Cross was the first humanitarian organization to launch a wide communication campaign to raise awareness and inform citizens about COVID-19. Since January 30, we disseminated infographics with safety measures, FAQs and educational videos in the microsite created by EPAM, as well as established a very successful donation campaign with their help. Together with Bence and Zoltán, we are still looking for opportunities to continue to improve our COVID-19-related online communication.”

As the team sees just how much they are helping Hungarian citizens get access to accurate, up-to-date information to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, their motivation to continually improve the website only grows. “It certainly helps that we think of this website and project as our baby,” explained Bence. “It’s not just like we finished work and said goodbye. We are continuing to help the Red Cross make an impact through smart UX design that helps keep people informed and safe.”

The Hungarian UX team’s work with the Red Cross is just one example of how EPAMers have come together to act #TogetherAsOne to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges in the wake of COVID-19. We look forward to sharing more examples of collaboration, creativity and big impact soon.