#10 - Design an app to save our grandmas - Story of delivering the NZ COVID Tracer app


17 February 2021

1 hr 9 mins 13 secs

Season 1

Your Host
Special Guests

About this Episode

The NZ COVID Tracer app took an essential part during the whole COVID-fighting process - more than half of the people in New Zealand using the app to help save people's lives.

The app was developed and delivered by RUSH, an Auckland based digital agency, which only took six weeks from concept to launch. It's a once-of-a-lifetime opportunity for a designer. What are the stories behind the scene? Who are the people doing the design of the app? In this episode of Bear Academy, I have the pleasure of talking to Stephen Horner - Chief Design Officer, and Chloe Fong - Product Lead about the story of designing and delivering the NZ COVID Tracer app.

As a reminder, please turn on Bluetooth tracing in the app.


Latest stats of the app since the app launched… (as at 27 January 2021)

  • There are 2,496,000 registered users
  • This is 61% of the adult population of NZ (*aged 15+)
  • There have been 160,466,530 total QR poster scans
  • And 6,555,858 manual diary entries
  • The highest peak of scans so far is 2,509,166 in a single day
  • Since Bluetooth launched on 17 December 2020, 859,369 devices have activated this function

Official website:



Case study (RUSH):



  • Stephen Horner - Chief Design Officer at RUSH


  • Chloe Fong - Product Lead at RUSH - teacher at EF (UK)