May 24, 2020

Contact tracing tool – our journey to build it right

Apps for contact tracing seem to be as widespread as the virus itself. There are so many variations on how the technology can be implemented. So what is ‘the right way’?

For a start, pen and paper solutions have a lot of flaws compared to digital solutions. Writing down your private information for everyone to see. Having to share pen and paper with strangers. The poor shopkeeper who needs to decipher squiggly handwriting when the need to contact trace. There’s no doubt that a digital solution is the answer.

Our take on building something right

So what is the ‘right digital solution’? – it depends. A few weeks ago, I helped write a post on this topic. We outline our thoughts on foundational guiding principles for contact tracing solutions. It’s not an easy topic and I have spent countless hours in heated discussions over the past couple of weeks.

One of the most challenging was the privacy vs usability debate from a product design perspective. We wanted to build a product that people will actually use so it can contribute to contact tracing. All while maintaining privacy of people and their information.

Some solutions require users to first download an app, or sign up with their details creating friction in the user journey. Other solutions will send full excel spreadsheets to business owners causing privacy concerns for use and retention of data. At Putti, we wanted to create a solution that is easy enough for everyone to use, and want to use – while ensuring privacy is not compromised.

We created chkin.me. It’s a simple tool to help with contact tracing measures for organisations. It’s super quick and easy to set up. Users don’t need to download an app or sign up before they can use it. It remembers your details, so you don’t need to re-enter your details every time you check in.

Feedback from customers and giving back to the community

Our customers love how easy it is to use and we get daily thank you emails. We checked with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to see if there were any privacy concerns with our solution. We really put a lot of thought and effort in building this right.

New Zealand is slowly opening up again and we need to stay vigilant. Last week, we announced on NZ Herald that we will make chkin.me free for all clubs, schools and charities. We’re all involved in communities one way or another and understand how daunting it can be to make sure contact tracing is done right.

You can sign up as a club, school or charity here for free, or get in touch if you want to try for your business.