Helping users find food pantries easily on the Staten Island Hunger Task Force mobile website


UX Research, Data Analysis, Presentation Editing


Ariella Brown, Johna Shi, Samika Rastogi, Shubhangi Singh


Sept 14, 2022 – Oct 12,


Staten Island Hunger Task Force is a non-profit organization committed to resolving the issue of hunger on Staten Island by connecting food pantries to community members and government resources. Our goal was to analyze users’ behavior while navigating the current mobile website to help them find pantries efficiently. Analysis of usage data from Google Analytics and Hotjar helped us identify three findings highlighting reasons for confusion among users while searching for pantries, backed by recommendations for the Home Page and Pantries List Page.

The Problem

How are users looking for pantries on the current mobile website?

There are 3 main methods for searching for pantries on the current mobile website

Pantries Map
Area Zip Code Calendar
Alphabetical Pantries List

Our client struggled with constantly updating the information provided by Area Zip Codes and Pantries Map, manually. Hence, it was vital for them to figure out their primary area of focus (area zip code or pantries map) to reduce the amount of effort required by constant updates. 

“I want to find out if it is even worth it on my part to keep updating these two features on the website, based on what the data says.  “

– Client

Based on the client’s requirements we highlighted 4 key research objectives for this study

Analysis Process


The Site’s Landing page does not appear to users as a Home Page

While on the Home Page, many users attempted to navigate to it through the hamburger menu

Behavior Flow Map shows that the users landed on the Home Page and later clicked on the index page (present in the navigation menu) to look for the home page. Hence, reflecting that users were not sure if they were on the home page or not.


Prioritize information above the fold to familiarize users with the organization

The Home Page doesn’t educate the users about the organization and also doesn’t provide helpful information until they have scrolled through the Mailing list (which appears at the top of the Home Page). Through our recommendation, we hope to utilize the hero section to educate users about the organization.

Prioritize information above the fold to help users locate pantry sources efficiently

We highlighted 2 methods for locating pantries on the home page to further enhance their discoverability.

Finding 2

Users appear to be confused about where to locate pantry information

The Behavior Flow Map shows that the users were going back and forth between Home Page, Pantry List Page, and Area Zip Code pages. This reflects confusion among users while they are trying to navigate the website to search for pantries

Screen recordings from Hotjar show the users navigating the three pages to find relevant pantry information

View Screen Recordings


Enhancing the discoverability of pages by renaming page headers

We observed that some of the labels such as “Pantries List” and “Help for Pantries” could be confusing for the users and might prevent them from finding useful information. Hence we renamed these two pages.

Enhancing discoverability of different methods for finding pantries

To enhance the discoverability of various methods for finding pantries, we consolidated all these sources on a single page, “Find a Pantry”. We also added a tab option so that users can easily switch from the pantries list ( arranged by area code) to the map view.

Finding 3

Finding relevant details on an extensive pantries list is difficult for users


Restructructure pantry list, making it easier for users to find relevant information

Based on our Hypothesis and previous findings, we identified that most users look for pantries based on their preferred area codes. Hence, we decided to merge the Area Zip Code pantry list and the Alphabetical pantry list. Our recommendation lists pantry options specific to area codes. We also added quick hyperlinks at the top of the menu to direct the user toward the specific area code list.

Improving visual hierarchy for pantry details to make it easier for users to find relevant information

We added hyperlinks next to each area code, directing users to the Google Calendar for viewing the Pantry schedule specific to each area code. For each pantry, we added a link to its location, directing users to Google Maps. All details are listed for the pantry efficiently highlighting relevant information regarding each pantry such as contact details and schedule.

Quick Summary


” This looks great! A restructured pantry list, arranged on the basis of area codes would definitely help our users. I would also like to see a search option in this section. ”

– Client’s Feedback

We presented our top three findings with recommendations to the client on October 12, 2022 ( presentation’s link). We also presented an A/B test plan (the current home page and proposed home page). Our recommendations received a lot of appreciation from the client and they also expressed their interest in launching the A/B test within a few weeks from the date of the presentation. With the recommendations, our goal was to maximize a positive impact on users with minor tweaks in design. We aimed to provide recommendations that were technically feasible hence, we prioritized using hyperlinks instead of a dynamic search function in our pantries list section.

While we uncovered some important and helpful insights using behavioral analytics tools, we also recommended a usability test with frequent users of the site. We believe qualitative data supported by the quantitative findings could help us get a deep understanding of how users prefer looking for pantries in the future and the pain points they experience with the recommendations provided.