Designing for Good Governance

Student work

Jan - Apr 2019

Four Months


Massachusetts is a right to shelter state; all its residents can seek shelter services in emergency situations. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), has one such service called the “Emergency Assistance Service”, which provides shelter services to families in need. They often face the issue of very large in-person footfalls in their office. They are often understaffed to manage this crowd. One of the possible reasons for this could be the lack of availability of clear and concise information on the web about the process to seek shelter using DHCD’s services.

Design Brief

Based on the emergency application process, propose design solutions to improve the experience for individuals seeking shelter.

This was work done in the Research Methods class taught by Prof. Tad Hirsch at Northeastern University, Boston, MA.  Throughout the semester, the class collaborated with the DHCD members to understand the emergency application process and potential design opportunities. Students were shuffled weekly to carry out needs requirements tasks while working with DHCD. The final design deliverable was to come up with design concepts that the DHCD could use as references for the future. This activity was done in a team of four students. The goals for my team for the final deliverable are listed below. 

Design Goals

  1. Visualize the application process on a brochure

  2. Redesign the current web experience*

  3. Propose a usable online application process

  4. Clarify language and  improve copywriting

*My primary deliverable

My roles and responsibilities

  • Conduct user research and requirements gathering.

  • Evaluate the current application process.

  • Redesign the current website.

  • Prototype (paper and low-fi interactive) web experience.

  • Test and improve the design based on the user’s feedback.

  • Provide critial and timely feedback on the designs by team members.

  • Create and improve content on the website.

  • Put together different design outcomes under a single coherent narrative.

Design responsibilities:

User Research(Secondary research, in-depth interviews, role-playing), wireframing, content writing, web design.

Tools used:

Adobe Illustrator, Adobe XD, InVision​ |

© 2020 Arushi Singh