This is the capstone project when I was studying my UX Bootcamp at BrainStation. This product was inspired by my personal immigration experience. MINGO aims to help women rebuild their social circles in their new home easier and quicker through participating in physical events and virtual communications with other like-minded female immigrants.
I led the design, user testing and development of this project from end to end.
Starting over in a new country can be exciting but daunting. Meeting like-minded friends is very tough especially when the immigrants are not familiar with the new country.
39% of female recent immigrants reported symtoms with anxiety disorder, which is more often than their male counterparts (26%).
All users interviewed expressed that they have difficulty in meeting new friends.
As the project has not been launched officially. I interviewed 20 recent female immigrants and asked them if they find this app helpful to re-build their social circles in the new country, hence have greater confidence in handling settlement challenges.
100% of the interviewees said that they find MINGO trust-worthy and are positive about using it to look for like-minded female friends in the new country.
72% of the interviewees said the they will be more likely to take part in events in person after the pandemic, which they believe to be easier to build a closer connection with people.
85% of the interviewees said that the personality test is interactive and they like the feature of connecting them with other users with similar area of interests.
I conducted user interviews and online research in order to understand users’ pain points on immigration. Research reported that women are more vulnerable to the positive or negative mental effects of migration than men.
72% of newcomers tend to choose informal support over formal support. They would also find family (68%) but fewer would seek support from counsellors (36%) when they encounter a problem.
75% of the newcomers pointed out that language is a barrier to them during the process of adaptation in the new country.
I have conducted user interviews with 4 female immigrants. During the interview, we covered the struggles that they faced when they first moved to the new country. Their insights helped me validate that social support is one of the keys to maintaining their mental well-being during immigration.
After the research, I developed 4 key insights that are used to guide the project:
Establish a new friend circle will make female immigrants feel happier living in the host country.
Female immigrants find meeting friends can be difficult, especially meeting like-minded friends.
Female immigrants tend to hang out with friends with the same ethnic-background.
Female immigrants are meeting meet new friends from diverse backgrounds.
How might we ensure female immigrants have more access to social support, in order for them to have more confidence in dealing with settlement challenges?
To put myself into users’ shoes, I dive deep into “How can I find new friends when I arrive in a new country?”.
I conducted a round of competitive analysis to understand the existing digital products that can possibly help achieve the user goal - rebuild their social circles.
I developed this persona based on the common motivations and pain points found from the user interviews.
A simple walk-through about what Sandy would do before using MINGO when looking for events or meeting new friends.
Now that we understand the search process can be lengthy for our persona, Sandy, we are able to uncover some opportunities for MINGO to intervene and provide a meaningful and useful solution for users like Sandy.
Save time and effort
To reduce the time and energy on researching, exploring options available and favourable
Narrow the scope
To connect users with accessible resources that would assist her in narrowing down the events she’d like to attend
To keep users informed about any latest events near them that are favourable
To put together all event information including date, time, location, transportation, etc, in order to reduce time to go back & forth
In order to help persona like Sandy to acheive her goal, I examined how the interaction between the user and MINGO would be like and developed the below task flow diagram.
Based on the interaction between the users and MINGO, as well as the concepts generated from the user interviews, I began to translate concepts into sketches.
In order to detect any usability issues and collect feedback from users, I carried out two rounds of usability testing with 5 people in each round (10 testers in total). All testings were conducted via Zoom and lasted for around 30mins.
Main feedback from testers is summarized into the following categories:
1. Icon choice and sizes
2. Option to opt in / out (e.g. back button / cancel button / not now button)
3. Word / phrase style
4. Calendar view bi-weekly instead of monthly
5. Minimize the steps involved on each screen
6. Dim background to show contrast for a modal popup
7. Provide more sign-in options
I used the typeface Staatliches (colour: #FC768A), altered the corner radius and the position of each alphabet to create a bouncy and lively feeling.
In order to convey the value proposition of women supporting each other, I incorporated the concept of 2 females holding hands into the alphabet M to develop the final app icon for MINGO.
I iterate from my mid-fidelity prototype and began to inject colours to the app interface. The final prototype has been tested against WCAG standard, and assure the design attains AA level and is accessible to prospective users.
To spread the name of MINGO, I have also developed a marketing website to introduce more about the app to our prospective users.