U.S. Digital Response | Improving COVID vaccine and testing access


Screenshot of the revised Pueblo County website. For this project, I audited the Pueblo County COVID site, consolidated information into just a few pages, and rewrote it to be more easily readable and localizable. I also worked with a product designer to redesign the site into a more logical series of flows.

Project overview

In March 2021, Pueblo County, Colorado approached U.S. Digital Response (USDR) with a request to redesign their COVID-19 website. Their primary goal was to help Pueblo County residents increase their knowledge of — and disposition toward — COVID-19 vaccine information. Their secondary goal, however, was geared toward improving usability on the site overall. 

With an aging site infrastructure, as well as a series of disconnected web sites with repetitive or out-of-date information, the website was difficult to navigate. According to Pueblo County's own surveys, users had trouble finding out how to test for COVID-19 or get vaccinate.d for it.

As the content strategist representative from USDR, I worked with a product manager, a product designer and an engineer to outline user problems, define user personas, audit the website's content and site navigation, and propose more streamlined solutions.


Screenshot of the old Pueblo County COVID-19 navigation. The original site still used frames, and the navigation led to pages within site that sometimes also had frames. This made the site difficult to navigate at best on desktop, but impossible to navigate on mobile.

Auditing the website

Our team at USDR quickly determined that the site's target personas were residents, who needed to learn about COVID-19 and get tested or vaccinated, and call center staff, who needed a reliable way to answer questions quickly.

Given this, I audited the current website to see how easy it was to reach important information, such as vaccination schedules. My findings revealed a few issues with the website:

  1. The navigation was flat and didn't prioritize user needs. For example, while users said their primary goals were to get vaccinated or tested, the navigational structure didn't reflect this prioritization.
  2. There was significant friction impeding users from reaching their goals. At minimum, it took six clicks before a user could find information on vaccines, and it was difficult to understand to boot. The site rarely distinguished primary vs. secondary information, and users often had to scroll through multiple paragraphs of text before reaching their needed CTAs.
  3. Design issues prevented users from finding necessary links. Buttons didn't look like buttons, and links were buried within colorful pages that precluded both understanding and engagement. 

After working with my product design partner to sketch out quick improvements to the site, we presented our solutions to our stakeholders at Pueblo County.

Because we knew that the county was limited resource-wise, we intentionally designed our proposed solutions to meet the most urgent user needs while also meeting the technical capabilities of the county. However, we also produced longer-term solutions, knowing that they would be more difficult to implement.


Screenshot of the old experience (left) and the new one (right) for learning about COVID testing. I rewrote the previously available information into simpler language, with a more straightforward and human tone. I also reorganized the information into a more logical step-by-step process.


Our proposal was highly content-driven, and consisted of three major changes, all of which were approved:

  1. A new global CTA across all Pueblo County webpages directing residents to the vaccination page. Given this was a primary user need, we decided to be implement this CTA across as many touchpoints as possible in a highly visible way.
  2. A new page specifically for vaccination. Previous vaccination information was spread throughout the website. I proposed a page that would house all vaccination information, including registration for vaccinations.
  3. A new COVID-19 resources page. This would house miscellaneous resources that Pueblo County deemed too important to skip over. I proposed taking information throughout the various pages on the site map, reorganizing it to reduce redundancy, and rewriting it to reduce jargon and improve usability.

Armed with CDC and WHO content as a guideline, as well as existing COVID information from the State of Colorado, I proceeded to rewrite most of Pueblo County's website to be more simple, straightforward and human. I redesigned the site navigation, developed a new taxonomy for its various categories and webpages, and condensed widely disparate information into just four parent pages: the home page, the vaccination page, the testing page, and the COVID-19 resources page.

All in all, I condensed 10 pages with COVID-19 information into less than half of its previous structure. Simultaneously, I worked with my product designer to develop a new, simpler design system, with reusable Figma components for future engineers that stuck to Pueblo County's established branding.


Screenshot of the old experience (left) and the new one (right) for the COVID-19 data dashboard. Analysis in Google Analytics suggested that the weekly outbreak report in the old site was rarely used and hard to navigate, with the key metrics (total cases and deaths) obfuscated. The new dashboard bumps the key metrics further up, improves the readability of content, and relegates weekly metrics to a separate page.


We launched the new web pages in April 2021 for over 168,000 people, with an improved digital journey that helped people reach vaccination in just one click — down from five. Moreover, the improved site also decreased the number of callers asking where and when to get a vaccine. Surveys also noted people’s increased satisfaction with and attitudes towards signing up for a vaccination appointment.

Working with Pueblo County, CO was my first experience working in the public sector, and was an experience I greatly appreciated. Moreover, it had real impact on everyday people, and not just people who happen to be using a particular product: something we're often hard-pressed to say as tech workers. I'm proud to have worked with the county, and highly recommend volunteering at the U.S. Digital Response.

Addendum: The USDR has also published a case study of my team's work on Pueblo County. You can read it here.

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