Building A Community


HPSA is a community of artists who rent studios in the former U.S. naval shipyard on Hunters Point in the Bayview area of San Francisco.

Beyond the biannual Open Studios events, the artists at HPSA cannot easily connect with the local community, which results in weak community bonds.


Turning HPSA into a collaborative platform on which local artists and the supporting community can directly connect encourages community engagement, strengthening the local art community.


My responsibilities included product research, market research, user research, product strategy, usability testing, wireframing, and iterating. The team consisted of 3 UX designers, including myself.

An Inactive Community

HPSA is the gateway between the artists and the supporting public, but it is only open twice a year.

A simple comparison reflects HPSA's general inactivity: their own gateway—their website—offers no actionable information or guidance on how to support or engage with their artists.

Power To The People

We interviewed and surveyed artists and community members to define the problem areas. Though each presented a range of attitudes, there was a common desire to connect with each other.

If the artists want to connect with the local community, and the local community want to connect with the artists, then why not just let them? Turning HPSA from a middleman into a platform allows people the freedom and power to engage.


  • Lack of control
  • Poor representation
  • Limited opportunitie
  • Uninspired management

  • Direct engagement
  • Curated events
  • Expanding client base
  • More meaningful interactions

To encourage interest, sharing, and active engagement, we balanced collaboration between the artist and the public. Artists control the scope of the meet up and the minimum number of attendees, while it is up to the public to reach that minimum to actuate the meet up.

Testing The Concept

Through testing, we learned that as the minimum number was approached, the user felt an urgency to share. Artists liked the idea of running their own event, while community members were curious about hanging out with artists in their studios.