Seattle Housing Authority image of houses on brick

Seattle Housing Authority

The Need
A website crafted from the ground up to better serve existing and prospective clients that is mobile responsive, intuitive to use by a diverse constituency, as well as quick and easy for staff to update content.
The Result
A completely redesigned website employing an easy-to-navigate user interface and built on a modern content management system (Drupal) in order to be highly usable on a variety of mobile devices with up-to-date and relevant content.
About the Project
Seattle Housing Authority logo

In 2016, Fuse IQ was contracted by the Seattle Housing Authority to do a complete redesign and rebuild of their website. As an important and essential service provider in the city of Seattle, SHA provides long-term, low-income rental housing and rental assistance to approximately 35,000 people, representing more than 17,000 households. Their website is an essential resource to their existing and prospective clients and evolving their website, improving their digital services and web presence is essential to the mission of SHA. Fuse IQ became and continues to be, their partner in achieving these goals.

User Experience Journey Map
Journey Mapping
We needed to thoroughly understand users expectations and emotions

Journey Mapping is a convention used to: 

  • Identify audience types (personas)
  • Identify their touchpoints
  • Map their emotions and expectations along those touchpoints
  • Identify opportunities for connection
  • Identify opportunities for creating comfort and trust, and alleviating stress and distrust

For the Seattle Housing Authority, whose constituents are extremely diverse with wide-ranging levels of technical and English language proficiency, it was crucial to identify the current journey of interactions with SHA. By mapping users' interaction touchpoints and identifying their emotions and level of trust along the way, we were able to clearly identify opportunities for creating comfort and belief that they would find and could depend on the information they received.

Through this exercise, we were able to not only get more intimate with the online solution that needed to be provided, we were able to help SHA identify opportunities for improved interactions along the full on and offline user journey.

Seattle Housing Authority responsive web design on mobile phones
Mobile First
Those seeking housing may have only a phone

Through our user research we determined most of those seeking housing did not have a laptop or desktop computer and typically accessed information from a phone. Creating an easy-to-use mobile experience was imperative.

Not only could users navigate the necessary information for searching, finding and applying for housing, they could have the site fully translated to their native tongue using Google Translate. Because there are people from many different backgrounds seeking housing, and many languages were needed, this was a reliable and low cost solution.


“Our programs and operations are by nature very complex. They are also vitally important to people who need assistance with housing and services. Our goal with a website redesign was to reduce confusion and create a clear, understandable experience for those we serve. Fuse IQ made the effort to understand our mission and how we fulfill it, and had the expertise to guide us to the right online solutions.”  
- Kerry Coughlin, Director of Communications, Seattle Housing Authority