SF Service Guide

Delivering vital information to San Francisco's most vulnerable


UX Designer

  • User Research
  • Design Workshops
  • UX Design

Project Overview

I was worked as a researcher for ShelterTech with our target population to understand their journey through SF's shelter system by leading participatory design workshops. I synthesized this research and interpreted the outcomes into my UX designs.

The Challenge

An endless cycle

A large segment of San Francisco's population is trapped in the seemingly never-ending cycle of homelessness.

Whether you are unlucky enough to be looking for shelter every night with no where to keep your belongings or find food, have found a temporary shelter for 30 days to get a respite, or are lucky enough to find yourself in an SRO (single room occoupency) but then find yourself back at square one when you're kicked out, due to the gov finding out you're starting to make something of yourself, you need to find resources that do exist for you in the city, but are not on Yelp or NextDoor or Craigslist.

The Process

Conversations around card-sorting

I initially did card sorts with a handful of our users focusing on resources and how they thought they fit togeteher. After learning about their mental models, I dove a bit deeper with a couple users, and discovered what I came to know as the 2 cycles of homelessness.

Learning about the cycle of homelessness

The first cycle, where the experience of homelessness began for many of our users, consisted of a lot of confusion and fear. Once they had their footing, I discovered that they could be found looking for shelters every night while on waiting liss for a bed for 90 days. If they were lucky enough to land a bed in one of these much sought-after residences, they might have enough time to get themselves together, start looking for work, and find resources to help them get back on their feet.>/h5>
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Journey-Mapping the Cycle(s)

I organized and set up a team to help record answers to questions about what are users were doing, what they were thinking and feeling, what they were seeing and hearning, and what their needs and goals were at specific points in this journey of theirs.

Discovering oppurtunities by understanding their journey

I documented our findings in Google Drive and shared it with the team, along with questions and oppurtunities at each stage.
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© 2019 David Pindrys