Helping kiwis find COVID-19 vaccinations

Live Website:
Repo: Github

Walter Lim — Product, UX, UI, Frontend
Will Seagar — Product, Full stack dev
Matt Weston — Infrastructure, DevOps, AWS
Minh Phu Lai — Full stack dev, Web Scraping
Ilia Sidorenko — Full stack dev, Architecture
Molly Derecourt — UX, UI, Social Media GTM
Jackson Lawrence — Full stack dev, Geolocation
Oliver Cooper — Full stack dev, Web accessibility
Olaf Wrieden — Full stack dev, Internationalization

New Zealanders were finding it frustrating to book their COVID-19 vaccinations and churning as a result. Official services made it difficult to search vaccination bookings by date and this resulted in hundreds of additional clicks.

A group of friends reverse engineered and scraped vaccination booking data. I then facilitated a design-led process where we co-created a better search experience for users in 48 hours. The public seems to like it.


people helped


user sessions

48 hours

from idea to launch

Initial steps

A friend's wife complained about how hard it was to book a COVID-19 vaccine online.

A quick user interview yielded that it was painful to search for bookings, and that the only bookings she could find were months away. We gathered some mates on Discord as we had just gone into another lockdown in New Zealand, and got to work remotely to maintain social distancing.

Some of our developers split off to do some scoping to see what was feasible with the data. After a few technical discoveries and a little bit of journey mapping we decided on a calendar approach to test with users in response. I opted for the bare minimum wireframing required to explain workflows and concepts and to keep everyone on the same page.

Existing workflow:
→ Search for a vaccination
→ Click into an individual vaccination site
→ See available vaccination bookings for that individual site
→ go back to the search page and click on another vaccination site
→ Repeat this process 60+ times until you find an appointment the same week
→ Make a booking

Our workflow:
→ Search for a vaccination
→ One click on the day you want to get vaccinated
→ Make a booking

Draft documentationDraft documentation

Designing in a dev environment

Given that our little project was heavily constrained by dirty data pulled by hackily scraping govt websites, we had to be pragmatic with our design process. There were disgusting regexes, and dirty, dirty hacks everywhere. It was a painful balancing act in terms of product prioritization; on one hand you have the experience you want to test with the user, and at the other you have to contend with reality and what you can actually ship in a short amount of time. We ditched figma at this point and went straight into the frontend to save time on implementation.

Draft documentation

Initial launch

We launched on Twitter, Reddit and LinkedIn and gained a little bit of traffic initially, peaking at over 23,000 unique users in a single day. As feedback came in over twitter and emails, we had to make sure we were ready to make improvements and scale. prioritised. We started preparing to open the floodgates to contributors to scale as an open source project over discord and GitHub. To remain focused, I put together a triage workflow using GitHub issues and GitHub kanban boards.

Draft documentation

Current State

We've received some press, and maintain a public discord community with about 60 contributors. We've shipped several big updates since launching, including internationalization and pulling walk-in venue locations where people can get vaccinated without an appointment.

We run guerrilla usability testing every so often to test new and existing workflows, and generally catch most of the issues that way. Anything that needs more design or engineering work gets logged as an issue on GitHub, and open source contributors pick it up from there.

The site sees about a thousand unique users a day according to GA, and we're pretty happy as a team as we know for a fact that the website we've built has helped a lot of people get vaxxed.

The Project: Developers build useful vaccine booking website
Stuff New Zealand: Covid-19: 'Hackathon' creates faster way to find a Covid-19 vaccine near you
1 News (TVNZ): Kiwi friends build website to help speed up vaccinations
NZ Business Desk: Developers build better vaccine booking website

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