In macroeconomics, there are the five macroeconomic goals to ensure long-term stable economic success (source):
- Non-inflationary growth
- Low inflation
- Low unemployment
- Equilibrium in balance of payments
- Fair distribution of income.
Notice how being an individual with a housing crisis stops them from being able to find employment or get a stable source of income. According to The Sacramento Bee (source), there were 5,570 homeless people in Sacramento County, and that's just a head count by volunteers. It is very likely that the count is understated because there are people who are not documented as homeless.
The current website to access homelessness resources is not the best (link). There was too much information, and the way they structured FAQs felt hostile to the homeless community. It did not feel welcoming, nor did it direct the homeless to find immediate help. This is where Home for Good steps up to get these people identified and get assistance.
What it does
Simple design goes a long way. The idea is to direct the homeless to find resources that they need and the website provides them just that. Very simple! No extra fluff, no excessive information; just the resources the user needs.
How we built it
I utilized Adobe XD to create the design and prototype the different interactions you could do on the website. Using the Quick Mockup plugin, I used a template as a base, so that I could stick to keeping the design simple.
Challenges we ran into
Learning Adobe XD was definitely a big challenge. As someone who has never done UI/UX designing or conducted user research, it was difficult to understand what was needed in a good design. Thankfully SacHacks had plenty of workshops on UI/UX and design that allowed me to get hands-on with the applications.
Another challenge I faced was creating the initial sketch of the web design. Again, I have no background in graphic design nor web design, so it was incredibly difficult to picture what a simple website should look like. Due to the time constraint, I was unable to execute all the design ideas I wanted to implement into the web design.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Creating this project! As someone with no technical background in UI/UX and design, my experience in learning basic UI/UX and design skills was enjoyable. The end result, at least in my opinion, looks decent. I think that for someone with no background in what I'm doing for this project, it's something to be proud of.
What we learned
Learning the basics to UI/UX, design systems and standards, as well as research skills. I've also learnt that designing a website prototype on my own wasn't as intimidating as it seems.
What's next for Home for Good
If there wasn't a time constraint, I would like to extend the project into creating a new algorithm based on the current priority queue system used to home the homeless aka. Coordinated Entry System (CES). Instead of taking years for the homeless to find shelter, the new algorithm will ensure they get a place to stay in a few months or less. Another extension of this project that I'd like to do is create data visualizations and analysis on Sacramento's economic development. Data visualizations will help educate non-economics majors understand why helping the homeless is important for them and the rest of the community.