Collaborative ID Verification to Support DTES Residents


This project is to understand different barriers with vulnerable individuals in the Downtown Eastside (DTES), verifying their identity and relationships between various organizations that help DTES residents. With all conducted research and synthesized data, we will finish the project with possible solutions to improve the current system and to support both organizations and residences in DTES.


UX Designer


Mar. – Apr. 2021


Gantt Chart, Kanban, Persona, Empathy Map, Storyboard, Interview, Survey, Secondary Research, Stakeholder Map, Stakeholder Constraints


Figma, Miro, Slack, Procreate 


Garima Sood, Roche Lynx

Our Timeline

Team Values

We strive to share our research information and knowledge so that we can work independently and in a team.

We will balance and respect each other’s different perspectives, capacities and qualifications so that we stay on the right track and manage the project respectfully.

We will check-in with each other in a Stand Up Meeting at least once every 3 days so that we stay motivated to work on the project.

Also, we endeavour to finish each task on time so that we can take responsibility as a team.

We agree to seek for same goal and design values. Even though we have different opinions, try to keep communicating and find the best way all of us can satisfy. All team members’ voices should be taken into account so that we view the project from diverse perspectives.

We will adopt and work in a fast-paced environment so that we can follow our Gantt chart for the next two months.

Who is John?

Who is Chelsea?

Interview Insights

Carnegie Outreach

Manager, Aly Lane

Interview Goals

Better understand our user group and relevant stakeholders to find possible design directions

Co-creation Section

Completed a stakeholder map visualizing how Carnegie Outreach delivers support to DTES residents.

Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Community Integration Specialist, Nitsa Provias

Interview Goals

In the DTES, what barriers do people face with regards to ID?

Limitation to Ministry Support

1.  MSDPR cannot provide attestation for new clients less than three months in the system

2. Cannot provide attestation for clients not on Income Assistance

3. A client relying on an Income Assistance file to get health (MSP) benefits will not see their MSP cut off if they cannot show ID within 42 days of Income Assistance application. 

Pigeon Park Saving

Program Manager, Sharon

Interview Goals

Understand how Pigeon Park Saving cashes cheques and opens accounts for DTES Residents who do not have two pieces of government-issued IDs.

Laminated ID Cards Flow Chart

Survey from Outreach Staffs

Importance of IDs

DTES residences are required to show or have ID in a lot more instances than on-DTES residences. Not only for governmental services such as receiving welfare but also for getting basic needs to require IDs.

Barriers with IDs

Outreach Workers
* Limited Access without IDs
  • Not having anykinds of IDs for replacing ID
  • Not having a fixed address
  • Not able to pay for the fee
  • Difficult to access stored IDs in ID bank
  • Not knowing their personal information
  • Not having access to phones, fax, mailing, etc.
* Different Process to Acquire IDs without IDs
  • Banking / Money services
  • Library service / community programs
  • Travel outside of the province
  • Medical and pharmacy services
  • Visit friend’s SRO
  • Housing
  • Recovery benefits
  • Photo copies of ID are rarely accepted

Stakeholder Map

Stakeholder Constraints

A simplified version of our earlier stakeholder map showing the conatraints that would break a design suggestion for our key stakeholders

Possible Design Recommendations


In a design space as complex as this one, the limitations of our solution ideas became particularly obvious.

Rather than try to propose a fix-all design based only on a middling understanding of the problem space, we used our existing knowledge to ask experts generative questions. Building on this principle, we think that service designers are most useful when they approach problem spaces through the lens of a mediator or advocate, rather than that of a “fixer.”

As group, some of us were uncomfortable with the open-endedness of identification in the DTES as a design space. While there are ideas that could improve ID ease of access and ease of use, these became challenging to evaluate when we considered their social, technical, economic and political implications.

We eased these anxieties somewhat by setting expectations that initially felt small and scaling them back even further.

Certain aspects of time management went better than others. Our combination of a project-long Gantt chart and weekly stand-up meetings helped us through the first half of our project. We followed up this work by documenting it in a rought format. As the project progressed to recommendations though, we made less predictable steps forward.