My team and I were tasked with combining two existing CDC applications, TravWell and Can I Eat This? We wanted to discover what features were the most used and how to make all the information more digestible. 

my role

I was responsible for research, content strategy and testing. Visual design by Alexandria Williams. 


User Interviews, Surveys, Sketching, User Flows, Personas and Testing.


We designed an easy to use application that provides country specific information about crime, health and food and drink safety. We combined two existing apps from the CDC, took away features that were not being used and created new ones based on user research.


Users need a simple way to learn about critical safety, health and food information about a country they are either planning to visit or currently in.



We started our research by conducting phone interviews and sending out a survey to our personal networks. We found that the majority of participants traveled outside the US once a year, with their significant other, and were most concerned with security and safety.

First design

Initially we designed an app that would allow users to search a country, pick and choose the information they wanted and then save it in a report. We included an Add Document feature and kept the lengthy Can I Eat This app as is. After getting initial feedback, we realized that we got it wrong. Users did not find the navigation intuitive and most importantly wanted the most important information fast. We realized it was time to start over and develop personas to better understand who are designing for and why they would be using this app.



After taking more time to analyze our research findings and testing feedback we realized we were giving our users too many options. They wanted to know the most important information and were not interested in a custom country report or adding documents. We focused our design on Informed Iris, our primary user and Wanderlust Wendy as a secondary user.



This is the country main page. We decided to use color to indicate severity level for all topics and the general threat level. We included top headlines pertaining to the country selected to keep users up to date. Next to each topic we included the most critical information and give the option to read more if the user wants more details.

When the Emergency Icon is pressed, users are taken to the Emergency Services page. Knowing where the nearest hospital, embassy, and police department are was important to users who stated they would use the app while they were traveling.  

We believed users would find emergency push notifications beneficial when traveling. When testing, this idea was validated and many users stated they wish they had something like this now.


I learned an incredibly valuable lesson on the project - don’t get attached to your designs. After testing an early version of our app, we realized we got it wrong. We focused on the wrong features and the navigation was not intuitive. While we were certainly disappointed we realized it was time to start over. Even though I liked the initial design, that didn’t matter and learning to let it go was important.