Marissa Medeiros, a spokesperson for Immunize Nevada, said that the website “uses digital advertising to educate and inform Nevadans about these vaccines, and we use Google Analytics to track the performance of these ads.”
Of course, these tests are just the tip of the iceberg. None of them measured usability, the complexity of each form, the number of pages and websites each user has to access—and most important, which users are left behind because of these digital mazes.
It’s worth remembering that things didn’t have to be this way. There are lots of mechanisms for distributing vital services to a population—many of which existed long before web forms became commonplace. To throw out just one idea: We could have existing infrastructure and set up vaccine distribution at existing polling places in each neighborhood.
But one thing is for sure: We have learned time and time again during this pandemic that our government’s digital systems are not ready for prime time—whether it was Florida’s constantly collapsing unemployment benefits website
or the Pennsylvania vaccine website morass that prompted one doctor to tell Colin that the stress of trying to find vaccine appointments was making her patients “physically ill
President Joe Biden has promised
that by May 1 the federal government will offer a unified vaccine finder website and a call center to help those who cannot navigate the online portals.
In the meantime, we at The Markup are committed to keeping you informed about whether technology is working for or against you. And we will keep testing and measuring systems large and small in order to bring you the facts.
As always, thanks for reading, and I hope you get your shot soon.
There will be no newsletter next week. I’ll be back in your inboxes on April 10.
P.S. We wanted you to know that we are aware that our newsletter platform does not offer alternative text for images for visually impaired users. We have asked the platform to add this feature.