Accessible services for youth


The municipal bodies of Vancouver's North Shore offer services addressing a variety of youth issues, from what to do on a Saturday to finding help in a crisis moment. We turned their directory into a fast mobile website that young people could understand.

What We Did
We developed our understanding of how youth and municiple services interact through content workshops, interviews, and surveys with front-line youth workers, administrative staff, and of course younger people.

Though the guide wasn’t strictly for crisis moments, one persona always stood at the front of our process: a vulnerable teen with no place to go. Finding ways to welcome, talk to, and connect a person in need with help guided everything we did. As an interface between youth and local government, the directory needed to be informative, but not so formal that it couldn’t feel relateable in potentially stressful situations for various age groups and needs.

Design testing involved several months of participation from staff throughout the three districts, and the most terrifying audience of all: a room full of youth armed with their own phones.

The Results
After several months of internal testing, the new online, mobile-focussed North Shore Youth Services Guide launched at NSYouth.ca(best viewed on phone and tablet, but serviceable on desktop).

The interface design creates scenario-driven pathways through nearly 200 services that guide youth based on their circumstances, while providing for casual exploration and simple look-up tasks with the speed of a native app. The directory’s interface features a somewhat casual, but rational design sensibility that is calm but not authoritative. The interface employs language that’s plain but resepectful of the lived youth experience.

Built for mobile, we provide flexible filters for age and location, speedy filtering, and connections to one-tap phone calls from service listings, as well as integration with maps.

Community Development staff can accept service changes from administrators of the various programmes across the three districts with an approval workflow. Events are coordinated through a shared calendar already in use, which could be switched to different calendar sources without redesign.

UI Design
Project Management 

In Collaboration with
Denim & Steel

Produced at

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© 2020