Our team at Aunt Bertha is creating much more than just the most comprehensive social services directory in the United States. We are committed to our mission of actually connecting people in need and the programs that serve them.
One of the ways we do this is by designing product features that bring our users closer to finding programs that are the best match for their needs. We recently re-designed the location, look and feel of our search filters with the goal of making it easier to narrow in on the right programs that are available at the right times and fit with an individual's personal situation and income level.
We moved the filters up to the top of the search results, so that they are more obvious to our users. We also separated the filters into three tabs based on the kind of content they focus on.
These three tabs include:
- Program Filters: Details about a program
- Includes hours that a program operates, whether it is free or reduced cost, and any specific languages a program supports
- Personal Filters: Details about who a program serves
- These filters change based on your search -- what programs we found for you and who those programs serve. For example, below is a search for "emergency food," in Austin, TX. We found some programs that specifically serve veterans and families with young children, so we added those filters to the Personal Filters list. Filtering by both would show you any programs that specialize in serving either group.
- Income Eligibility: Asks for household income and size to narrow down programs that are based on specific income qualifications
You may be wondering, how does Aunt Bertha know enough information about programs to create these filters?
The answer is twofold: We do this through the hard work of rigorous data collection, combined with the engagement of providers claiming* and updating their program listings.
Both of these approaches allow us to tag programs with increasing specificity based on who they serve and how they deliver services. Our goal is to continue to improve our tagging and partnerships with providers so that users know exactly which services are a good fit for them, and spend significantly less time hitting dead ends.
*If you are a provider of a free or reduced cost social service, we want to talk with you and help you claim your listing! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.