experience designer
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Snailbox

Snailbox - a mobile mailbox system for homeless individuals to overcome the difficulties that not having a permanent address might create.

Service Design / UX Research / Strategy / UX Design

 

CHALLENGE
For those displaced from their homes, not having access to a permanent mailing address can keep them from breaking the cycle and leading normal lives.

OPPORTUNITY
By engaging voluntary nomads (RV & houseboat dwellers) as subscribers, the cost for those who cannot afford it will be covered by their fees.

SOLUTION
Snailbox, an alternate physical mailbox allows people to receive mail at public spaces and register for services that require a physical address.

TEAM
Ruthie Edwards, Katrine Limseth, Missy Thieman

 
 
Through anonymous surveys and in-person interviews, we found that 66% of homeless people had been inconvenienced by not having a physical address.
 
 
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A MOBILE-FIRST SOLUTION FOR THOSE WITHOUT AN ADDRESS

Ninety-five percent of homeless people have cell phones. Many of them depend on cell phones as a lifeline, but they can’t afford data plans. Instead, they rely on public wifi networks to access services and communicate. That’s why a mobile-first solution is so important.

 
 

Snailbox kiosks will first be placed outside of public libraries, then locations will expand to parks and other public areas. Snailbox utilizes cluster box units (CBUs) with attractive shelters to house its mail boxes. Each CBU contains a centralized lock system that can unlock individual boxes via an LCD touchscreen. A colorful attract screen serves as both an interface and as out-of-home marketing -- curious passerbys can find out how Snailbox works by pressing a “?” button.

 
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As opposed to a regular PO Box, Snailboxes are placed on the physical grounds of private properties, and are therefore registered as actual addresses. In many instances, a PO Box is not approved as a physical address and will not solve the problems that not having an address creates.

 
 

PERSONA

  • Jessica, 26

  • Single mother to Jayden, 5

  • Jessica recently escaped an abusive relationship but is temporarily without a home. She has been staying with friends and at shelters, but is worried that Jayden’s dad will be looking for them. She is also looking to enroll her son in school, but is realizing that she is not able to do so without a physical address.

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PROCESS

APP FLOW

APP PROTOTYPE

MINDMAP

SURVEY RESULTS

We used reddit to conduct research: by creating an opt-in survey, we were able to meet homeless individuals where they were to get their feedback on our product idea, but also quotes about their own experiences.

EMOTIONAL JOURNEY

 

MY ROLE: As a team of two other Experience Designers, I was part of every step in the process. From identifying the problem and opportunities, to structuring what the solution might look like. I mainly focused on the app design, creating the flows, design elements and final app screens.