UX/UI, Design Research

Wander is a portable dental service for people experiencing houselessness (PEH) whose goal is to provide free dental cleanings, while also educating and spreading awareness for long-term oral hygiene in the homeless community.


Josh Cox | UX/UI, Illustration
Mo Forbeck | UX, Design Research, Typography
Sydney Sokora | UX, Design Research, Branding

Isolate an ongoing and persistent social issue within a targeted demographic and develop a system which would provide a service for those affected.


The American houseless population lacks many basic necessities, but few so much as their need
for dental care. For this project, we developed and designed a pop-up by which those in need can discover, schedule, and easily access routine
dental services.

During our inital research, we identified two primary users:

Short-term PEH—Individuals who are houseless due to temporary factors including job loss, natural disaster displacement, etc.

Long-term PEH—Individuals who are houseless typically due to chronic conditions such as physical disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse disorder, etc.

We surveyed two specific groups in our preliminary research—dental and social service professionals and current or previously houseless individuals.

Supplementary responses showed

  • Lack of access to clean running water prevented routine dental hygiene.

  • Those who received dental care while experiencing homelessness learned of the services primarily through print materials at shelters.

  • Those that felt unsafe at shelters search for resources via libraries, newspapers, billboards, medical plazas, or community colleges.

Using warm, soft colors and organic, curvy shapes, we created a brand that communicates cleanliness, friendliness, maturity, and comfortability.

The grid motif is reflective of street aerials where neighborhood blocks are segmented. This pattern is used throughout the materials to create structure while also making reference to Wander’s focus in aiding urban populations.

Proposed solutions based on research

  • Bus with branded wrap to increase service visibility and accessibility

  • Digital kiosks used to schedule appointments

  • Dental kit containing supplies and informational print material

Several kiosks will be strategically placed throughout the city near homeless communities and will be used to schedule appointments for pop-up dental services.

Each kiosk will be equipped with a portable sink that allows individuals to brush their teeth without having to locate a public restroom.

Promotional print material will be placed throughout the city to advertise free dental services. These materials will educate individuals on the services to be provided, as well as locations of kiosks to schedule appointments.

©2024 Monique Forbeck.