I have been told I am an excellent tour guide when it comes to exploring San Francisco. From what started as long texts sharing what spots to hit-up in SF, to a chaotic list in the notes app, to a folder in Google drive, which eventually evolved into You In San Francisco.
When it comes to traveling, lists can be overwhelming and misleading because they create a false sense of urgency by saying that some five places are the "Top must see places in SF". These places are usually scattered in different corners of the city, with no sense of direction of how anyone should proceeded between one spot to another.
My goal was to create a welcoming site that shows the perspective of San Francisco from a friend that's enthusiastic for you to visit this beloved city. YISF aims to eliminate any sense of hierarchy that is associated with "Must-see places".
YISF takes a casual, yet efficient, approach to exploring San Francisco by presenting ready-made itineraries for users to follow. These itineraries are focused on allowing the user to explore the city in a lenient and organic manner based on doing casual activities rather than scavenger-hunting landmarks.
Product Designer
Project duration:
April - May 2022
Adobe Illustrator
Canva & Figma
YISF is aimed at, but not limited to, those who are:
• Looking to explore the city in a relaxed manner, no "Must See" sites.
• With friends who can never decide what to do
• Looking for date ideas, whether with friends or people they love
• Locals who want to explore more of their city

starting the design process
Designing Logos
I wanted to create something that highlighted San Francisco, in a way that is just beyond the Golden Gate Bridge silhouette. Most importantly, I wanted to create a logo that is durable and unique to this site. 
Why this logo?
• It's very universal. Some of the other logos, such as the sea lion or map of SF might not be recognized by everyone, if they are not familiar with SF cues.
• It directly compliments the theme of traveling to SF, it's your ticket to SF.
• The orange color is a subtle nod to the SF Giants baseball team.
• The 94102 zip code encapsulates the center of the city where the SF City Hall is located.
illustration cards for itineraries
• I wanted to keep the look of the site fun and inviting. It was also a way for me to challenge my illustration skills and give the site a unique look that goes beyond stock images.

Designing the Product
1. Itineraries not lists.
Lists create a false sense of hierarchy and urgency. Many times the "Top Must See" attractions are far apart on a map that can cause time wasted unnecessarily going from one corner of the city to another.
I created itineraries that are organized by neighborhoods. These itineraries are loosely defined and constructed in a way that presents the needed information while still letting the user choose what works best for them. There is no "must eat at X restaurant", instead the map highlights recommended + popular food places. Here are some top rated coffee shops, don't like coffee? No worries, cool down with some refreshing boba or grab an ice cream.
2. Defining the transport system.
What is the different between MUNI or BART? Should I Uber or drive? Is it safe to bike? As a traveler, it is important to know your transportation options. Whether you are traveling with small children, a large chaotic group, or flying solo, each type of traveler has their own needs and restrictions. The transportation page is created to give a good overview on the travel options and how to be budget friendly also.
3. From the eyes of a local.
Usually, residents aren't chilling at Pier 39 or walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. I truly believe that some of the best parts of SF are places that ate #12 or #13 on the list of "Must See Places". ,
4. one size does not fit all.
there is so much diversity of what one can do in SF. If you want to explore historical sites, hula hoop in the park, shop for hours straight, explore art galleries, walk along the beach, or eat till your heart's content, all these experiences (and more) all exist within SF. I don't believe one-size-fits-all is a good approach to traveling. I want this site to encourage users to be picky about the traveling experiences they want to have and the experiences they want to avoid. There are busy beaches and quite hidden ones, food places with long lines or empty restaurants with no wait.
Designs that are personal and aimed to spark conversation:

This photo, taken by me at John McLaren Park, was used as a reference to create the banner for the "Parks" page. I wanted to design the banner in a way that highlights all that SF parks have to offer, outside what one might expect.

Adding these personal touches through the use of design was really important to me, because YISF is designed to give "my guests" the best welcome to SF. If someone were to reach out and ask about the banner illustration, I can just say, "Oh you're in luck, because this place is real, check it out for yourself too!"

refining designs to create consistency 
The key focus in the itinerary , based on the actual rowboats at Stow Lake.
The key focus in the itinerary , based on the actual rowboats at Stow Lake.
Adding a sparkle effect to balance out the emptiness of the canvas.
Adding a sparkle effect to balance out the emptiness of the canvas.
Readjusting with the fog theme to keep design unity throughout the website.
Readjusting with the fog theme to keep design unity throughout the website.
Adding a sun, to give the design a bigger feel. It also compliments the Ferry Building design that features the moon.
Adding a sun, to give the design a bigger feel. It also compliments the Ferry Building design that features the moon.
The challenge:
Compared to the other card illustrations, which are all architecture based, creating this design was challenge because it  lacks the "grand-ness" that the other structures offer.
In the earlier versions of the design (shown on the top row) I added a sparkle effect to give the illustration the same grandness as the other designs have. However, it did not complement the other designs well because it lacked the design unity.
In the final iteration, I decided to add a sun to help fill the canvas, while also keeping that design balance.
current design limitations
My main goal for this site was to build a product with strong content. I diverted most of my focus on curating usable itineraries and compiling helpful information that would benefit the user directly. To prioritize my time better, I used a website builder for the structure of the site. The downside of this is that it is very limiting regarding how much I can customize my designs.
Looking forward, I would like to switch over to a website builder that allows much more customization. I want to add an interactive map, rather than just using embeds. In addition, I'd like to reformat the homepage that is more inviting and better organized structurally.
Regarding content, I'd also like add 4-6 more personalized itineraries that focus more on specific activities that get overlooked. As I continue to receive feedback on this, I'd like to use that feedback and get a better understanding of how the plans can be reformatted to benefit the user better. Currently I am working on the Museums page which should be up before the end of May.

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