Mapping services for homeless people in London

What we did

  • user experience consultancy
  • design
  • development
  • project management

The Atlas of Services for Homeless People in London is a major survey that maps and compiles data on the 177 agencies providing services for homeless people in London, from day centres and direct access hostels through to advice services.

The publishers of the Atlas, the London Housing Foundation, and author Daniel Currie were keen to ensure this third edition reached a wider audience of service commissioners and providers. Our concern was that the length of the report - around 100 pages - would make it hard for readers to absorb the key data unless they were already highly curious and had sufficient time available.

The 2011 Atlas comprised a number of extensive tables of detailed information on the nature, scale and location of services to homeless people and is peppered with a number of maps that show the size of these services by location.

These maps, we felt, were the key to giving more people access to an overview of the data at a glance; they also had the potential to be given a colourful design and to be presented effectively, separately from the tables, online.

Being able to click between the maps would help provide a clearer, sharper contrast between the different types of service provision available and the location of London’s street homeless people. In addition, it would help to draw attention to any peculiarities in areas where certain types of services were (rightly or wrongly) concentrated and boroughs where there were gaps in provision.

The London Housing Foundation and Daniel Currie agreed. The third edition of the Atlas was the most well-received to date when it was published in terms of the numbers of times viewed and was the most visited section of the LHF website during 2011-2012.

We’re pleased to say that the LHF has now invested further in the Atlas within its new website, building on our recommendations.

How you present data to busy people is key to grabbing their attention and claiming their limited time.

If you are interested in a similar project, please get in touch.

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