A youth centred COVID response with the Burnet Institute

A rapid generative design sprint to understand barriers to youth testing during COVID


Early in the pandemic the Department of Health and Burnet institute had seen that the primary spreaders of second wave COVID overseas were young people. On the cusp of coming out of Victoria’s first lockdown the Burnet wanted to take a proactive approach to supporting young people to get tested and isolate.

This research-through-design project aimed to unpack with young people, what would enable them to get tested as soon as they have symptoms and stay home until they get a negative result.


We ran 5 day design intensive with 7 diverse young people. We mapped the pain points, barriers and underlying motivations as well as the  capabilities and opportunities needed for young people to be able to test and isolate. Through the 5 days young people translated these insights into potential testing strategies.


We developed six potential strategies and a future testing journey to show them in action. Young people pitched these ideas to senior members of the Department of Health. We also documented recommendations and guidelines with a Youth Response Vision. Versions of the young people’s ideas worked their way into the Government’s testing strategy in small but powerful ways.


Mapping the COVID testing journey

Coming up with ideas for how to make it better