s.f.a.c public kiosk

As a UX and Product designer, I designed a public voting app-kiosk that will allow citizens to connect with the public arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission

Team size: 3
Duration: 4 weeks

problem synthesis

project brief

The SFAC is looking to be much more transparent in it's plans for public art, and wants to engage the city's inhabitants to help prioritize what it invests in.


Project description:

problem synthesis

by the people,
for the people

Citizens connect with the public art commissioned by SFAC for several intentions, as shown here.
The SF Arts Commission is the city council that champions the arts.
Through art education programs, street activation initiatives, public art work, grant funded performances and more, the SFAC acts as a catalyst for life-changing experiences for the citizens and tourists of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.


Citizens interface with SFAC for several reasons:

problem synthesis

pain points

We defined our mission based on the current pain points which we summarized as:

  • No awareness about SFAC work and impact
  • No consensus on investment and art selection
  • No citizen involvement in art curation
  • No transparency in council processes
  • No media to engage or express opinions


Summary of pain points to address for SFAC:

solution discovery

product design

We modeled designs for an accessible turnable public voting kiosk:

  • The kiosk can hold a digital touch device like an iPad which as a public option polling application
  • These kiosks are located in public spaces in the city where citizens "pause", like public spaces, museums, BART / MUNI stations and more.


Accessible public voting kiosk design:

solution discovery

voting application prototype

We design a simple tablet application which allows citizens to view existing and upcoming public art. We developed a simple icon language which will allow the user to vote or get more information


Video of application prototype:

solution discovery


From our research and collaborative design process, we realized that the best way to engage public participation is by intervening seamlessly in public spaces where citizens might pause. Since citizens interface with the city at several touchpoints like public areas, this gives SFAC more opportunities to connect with people to anonymously vote for at while they pass by or wait.


Presenting the strategy:

solution discovery

wireframes for

We delivered wireframes and clickable prototypes for the "SFAC-Forum" - an addition to the SFAC website which will allow users to share opinions and have a moderated discussion about public arts and performances on the website


SFAC extension website (SFAC-Forum) wireframes:

solution discovery

high fidelity mockups

We presented high fidelity mockups for the website and the tablet app.


High fidelity mockups for SFAC-forum website and public voting tablet app:



We began our research by conducting a user survey where we asked users to vote on several examples of existing and future works of art. Our design hypotheses and solution statements were born of these surveys and interviews.

1. We learnt that citizens have varying opinions on existing public art and their opinion is not captured by decision makers

2. We also realized that citizens need to have more clarity and transparency about the council's ideas for the future of the city, to better relate to the outcome and the council itself

Results from our survey revealed divided opinions on future art proposals such as:

  • "While $400K sounds like a lot of money, it's probably a drop in the bucket of the whole project. I don't think that the citizens will "benefit", but perhaps they'll ENJOY it."
  • “Not sure. I love public art but we might need that money for more pressing social justice causes.”
  • “For $ 400,000 does this art include a building??”


Results from User survey:


competitive analysis

We used a heuristic framework to study the websites and processes of other city council bodies from the Bay Area to learn more about how we can improve SFAC's presence like:

  • SF Public Utilities Commission
  • SF Public Works
  • Alameda County Arts Commission
  • SF Arts Commission


Competitive Analysis with a heuristic framework:


comparative analysis

We took inspiration from physical as well as digital applications for ideation such as:

  • "Happy or not" Smiley Terminals
  • Eventbrite
  • Tinder
  • OLPC - One Laptop Per Child


Detailed User and Structural Flow Map:



While it is difficult to represent all citizens and visitors of San Francisco, we developed three personas who could be seeking to connect with SFAC for several reasons:

  • Bernie Wanders
  • Rick Jackson
  • Polly Darton




cardboard prototypes

We made prototypes of cardboard and paper, which aided us in illiciting feedback from several users. This helped us rapidly go through several design iterations for the flow and features of the product.


Making prototypes to rapidly test design assets and details:


early feedback testing

We tested the public voting tablet application product on several users with our cardboard prototype. This video shows a quick preview of the process.


Video of user feedback testing of prototypes: