Have you ever moved or thought of moving to a new country?
Every person who plans on moving to a new country goes through various emotions which start from
Excited, Looking Forward, Hope
But, as the process starts and they are unsure or unaware of the challenges they might face after or before moving, the emotions change to
Fear, Anxiety, Helplessness, Frustrations 😰
They go to 10-20 different places to find answers to these questions.
So, what can we do to help them with an Issue-Free move?
Going into the research my approach was to understand ‘Do problems really exist?’ and If yes, ‘What problems or challenges do newcomers face?’
With that in mind, I conducted some research and found out some of the top challenges that newcomers face:
After knowing the challenges, I wanted to understand how people go about finding solutions to these problems. It was important because people are moving to Canada and thriving, which means they’re finding answers to their questions.
To understand how people go about finding answers to their questions and their needs and frustrations, I conducted User Interviews with 10-15 participants selected across various demographics such as Students, Landed Immigrants who are single and moving with their families, etc.
Finding people to interview was a fun process as so many people move to Canada every year from diverse countries, speaking different languages, sociopolitical backgrounds, etc.
Based on the result of these interviews 3 main themes were derived:
Access to Service Agents - People like help from various agents offering services like jobs, accommodation, etc.
Guidance from Local Mentors - People appreciate or need help with services like job referrals, getting to know the city, etc.
Connect with peers - People would like to connect with others traveling around the same time or studying in the same school.
Combining so many diverse insights and needs into one persona was not possible. But to get a deep understanding of the target audience and help find the answer to one of the most important questions, “Whom are we designing for?” I created this archetype that depicts the goals, behaviors, and frustrations of the real users derived from the preliminary research.
To visualize Christina’s (our persona) end-to-end experience and behavior while accomplishing a goal, I created this journey that would help me understand the gaps and opportunities for improvement in the current system.
How might we?
Describing the problem as an open-ended possibility set me up for success in framing the design challenge on right problems
How might we help newcomers to Canada connect with service providers so that they can gain access to reliable Information?
To get a detailed understanding of all the tasks required to accomplish the goal which would form a base for ideation of potential screens.
User Story: As a newcomer to Canada I want to connect with various service agents so that I can get access to reliable information
After completing the research and defining the problem, it was important to start generating ideas in order to identify possible solutions to the problem statement. The intended task was to create a flow of connecting with an accommodation provider.
The next task was to translate the ideas generated from the sketches into Mid-Fidelity digital wireframes and a interactive prototype using a set of defined typographic styles and a set of 7-9 grayscale colors and create a strong set of UI elements generated to be now tested with the users to gather feedback and figure out flaws if any very early in the process.
To allow me the opportunity to get to know my users better, understand the patterns in behaviors and motivations, and gather feedback for uncovering opportunities to improve, I conducted 2 rounds of usability testing with 10 different people and evaluated how well the tasks were completed by users and what parts of the app could be improved.
During the testings, most of the users were able to complete the flow, however, there were some design changes that were suggested. Based on this feedback, I created a prioritization matrix for each session and respectively mapped the changes on a graph of Impact vs Efforts.
While most users would use Canadapt on a desktop or mobile device, I wanted to explore what the interface would look like on a different device such as an apple watch.
I decided to add the chatting with the service agents functionality on the smartwatch screen where the users can view the agent’s information and connect with them over the chat functionality.
I was always used to solving business problems and directly on a solution. But the user-centered design approach helped me focus on users and their needs in each phase of the design process.
How it is important to refine the product with every iteration after coming up with a first version over trying to be a perfectionist on the first go.
I learned how user testing findings help you to improve the flow and the importance of user testing at a very early stage. Also, how prioritizing test findings and ranking them according to severity help you in fixing the issues in a timely manner.