San Francisco Community Ambassadors Program
I collaborated on a 3-person User Experience design team to develop an iOS app for the San Francisco Community Ambassadors Program increasing user engagement and internal operation time efficiency by 73%.
Ambassadors are the bridge between individuals in the city (tourists, resident, store owners, homeless) and city services (providing directions and safety escorting, information on programs, 311, and even contacting SFPD where necessary.
Ambassadors are busy. In addition to doing all these great things the people and this city, they have to log/record every single thing they do. This helps them to stay accountable for their work, helps the team lead track performance and trends, and allows leadership to illustrate the program’s positive impact on the city.
3 User Experience Designers
iOS mobile app
Sketch, InVision, Google Forms,
Paper & Pen
User flows, sketches, user interface,
interactive prototype, usability test report.
User flows, sketches, wireframes, user interface, interactive prototype, usability test report.
Key Problems to Address
● Feel frustrated and confused
● Inefficient service at the moment
● Work being done during off-hours
● Keep their teams accountable
● Track daily/weekly performance
● More detail about interactions
● Inaccurate data being reported
● Show the impact of the program
● Export and share clean data
● Track metrics on a regular basis
● Inaccurate data being reported
Opportunities for Improvement
Task flows are too long.
We want to decrease the number of pages required to record an interaction.
Too much mobile scrolling.
We want to shorten the time spent on each page.
We kicked off our project by conducting some interviews and surveys with team leads and other ambassadors. We found that there was a high turnover rate, and newer ambassadors often had trouble filling out the forms. New ambassadors often took up to five minutes to finish them. Because the ambassadors need to log at least 15 interactions a day, this adds up to at least 75 minutes a day just filling out forms. The painstaking process of logging interactions takes directly affects the ambassadors’ ability to make an impact in the community.
Ambassador teams exist in (Mid-Market/Tenderloin, Chinatown, Bayview, Mission, and Viz Valley). We spent the majority of our first week and a half getting to know the SF CAP program and the Ambassadors (particularly in Mid-Market/Tenderloin and Chinatown gave our time constraint). We asked a lot of questions, walked a couple miles around the city with these teams, and agreed upon these key observations that led us to key problems we wanted to address.
The current method for logging their daily interactions is through a Google Form that they access through their mobile device.
It can take about 5 minutes to log an interaction, especially for new Ambassadors.
Mid-Market Team Lead
● Ambassadors tend to stop mid-engagement with people to record interactions
● Ambassadors write their interactions down on paper, which they later input into the Google Form during breaks
At this rate, Ambassadors will spend at least 75 minutes per day recording their interactions on the current Google Form.
Improve the current Google forms
Eliminate unused screens
Reduce screen scrolling
Reorganize the screen flow
Design a mobile app
Have the ability to add a partner when logging actions
Keep track of actions recorded
Design a wearable device app
Safer to use in certain areas
Eliminate the need for notepads
Design a mobile app
Improve events logging
Logging actions more efficiently
Address incident reports
We believe that redesigning a mobile-suited form experience that promotes faster task completion will help Ambassadors feel more comfortable using the form.
Ambassadors will be empowered to record their interactions quickly and accurately in the moment, ultimately resulting in a better in-session experience and improved data.
So what did we do based on our hypothesis? We proceeded to organize the data and categories, and we came up with an improved flow for the form. By introducing conditional branching, we were able to eliminate unnecessary pages. We also removed some pages that were unused based on our data and we shortened several of the pages as well.
We tested an earlier version before arriving at our latest form
Key insights from usability testing with the team lead:
● Must be able to select multiple actions taken
● Positive reaction to the simplicity of the Community Support task flow because there are significantly fewer pages; same with 311 Report.
● Likes that Materials/Outreach pages are also significantly shorter.
Key insights from our first Project Update meeting:
● Listing categories aren’t necessary.
● We don’t need to know the number of materials distributed.
The Proposed Google Forms
Designing The Mobile App
When we measured the impact of designing a mobile app, we found that it is the best solution because it’s tailored to ambassadors’ and leadership needs, which will help improve their performance in making the community a better place.
Our main goals are:
Time efficiency when logging actions.
Improving events performance.
More accurate reports.
With the mobile app, ambassadors will be able to easily access all main tasks from
the home page, this includes: adding interactions, 311 reports, events, incidents,
and data reports.
Log In / Sign Up
When we walked along with Ambassadors and through Google Forms that are currently used. We noticed Ambassadors must enter the team names and zone each time they report an action. With the app, the Ambassador will be able to enter this information only once when they sign in, which saves them a lot of time.
When a new Ambassador joins the team, they will have access to register and enter their personal information before they can sign in into the app later and record the interactions.
When ambassadors need to record actions, they only see and fill out what is relevant to the actions taken with limited options to prevent errors and increase data accuracy
We chose to use modals for additional information when needed to reduce the number of pages.
The Ambassador will receive a confirmation with a reference number to make it easier to track when needed.
Logging 311 Reports
The ambassadors will only fill out what is needed and related to the report using modals. Without having to go through all 311 report pages, only what’s applicable to the issue reported.
Events are really important and take a lot of time in Ambassador's daily interactions. Designing the mobile app gave us the opportunity to focus our efforts into making event interactions and impact more tangible. We did this by creating a clear list of events ordered by date and time, which allows ambassadors to get more detailed instructions and join the event session in order to start logging event interactions.
Logging Incident Reports
Incident reports current exist as a separate google form. This design allowed us to incorporate incident reports into the app and connect them directly to the interactions reports.
After reporting 911 call, the ambassador will get a reminder to follow up with the incident report where the app directly connects to existing reports to add more information to.
We wanted to validate our proposed solutions by doing a side by side comparison of the time spent logging one of the most common tasks, a wellness check.
Current Google Forms
Improved Google Forms
The Mobile App
Deepen our understanding.
Each team has different interactions depending on the community needs.
Conducting usability testing with all teams will give us constructive feedback from different perspectives. That will help us further improve the ambassadors’ experience.
Feature: Event Social Groups.
Ambassadors spend a lot of time at supporting community events, but they have some difficulties in organizing tasks and contacting each other while out in the field.
Adding events to social groups and the ability to post updates within the team and divide the tasks individually.
A Wearable Device Version
An unexpected pain point that we uncovered from the Ambassador teams is the issue of safety. Aside from form length and efficiency, Ambassadors have expressed that they need to stop in a safe vicinity before taking out their phones to begin logging. In the state of technology that we’re in, we thought that a wearable app would creatively address this problem.
● Ambassadors log in the actions taken every 1-2 hours from their notes.
● It is not safe to use phones in certain areas where ambassadors provide service