"Your Next Station" is the ultimate go-to website for new immigrants who are settling down in Canada. The platform is dedicated to providing invaluable information, guidance, and support to new immigrants as they navigate the process of establishing their new homes in this incredible country. 
Project duration:
June 2022 to July 2022

The problem:
Newcomers often face challenges when searching for reliable information to learn more about their new city.

The goal:
Create a responsive website that offers valuable information and insights to help new immigrants learn more about the city.

My role:
As the UX designer, my task is to create a responsive website catered to the needs of new immigrants seeking to learn more about their new city.

Conduct interviews to gather insights, create both paper and digital wireframes, develop low and high-fidelity prototypes, conduct usability studies, ensure accessibility compliance, and iterate on designs based on user feedback.

User Research Summary
After engaging in conversations with numerous newcomer families on WhatsApp, where they generously shared their immigration journeys, I realized the importance of conducting interviews and creating empathy maps to gain a deeper understanding of their unique needs. Through thorough research, I identified a primary user group consisting of individuals who recently arrived in the city and are eager to quickly adapt to the local culture. They expressed a strong desire for a comprehensive and centralized resource that can assist them in learning more about the city and its cultural nuances.

These users confirmed the challenges they face in finding relevant information about the city, especially since it is not a major metropolitan area like Toronto or Vancouver. They find themselves spending increasing amounts of time searching for information on services, education, housing, and other pertinent topics. Therefore, it is crucial to address their need for a streamlined and accessible platform that offers a "one-stop" solution to expedite their assimilation process and minimize the time spent on information gathering.

Pain Points
Newcomers often face time constraints as they prioritize searching for employment, housing, and schools. This limited time availability makes it challenging for them to gather the necessary information.
Finding local services can be a challenging task without a straightforward and convenient method.
Many newcomers lack reliable resources to obtain accurate information. Often, they rely on friends who are also new to the city, but the information obtained through such sources may not always be trustworthy or reliable.
Persona & Problem Statement
Vivian, a newcomer holding a work permit, is actively seeking information to facilitate a swift and smooth settlement in the city. Her goal is to adapt to the local culture as quickly as possible, and she recognizes the importance of accessing relevant resources to support her in this endeavor.
James, a new immigrant, is in need of reliable information to assist him and his family in settling down in the city. Being unfamiliar with the area and lacking friends or family, he is uncertain about where to turn for assistance. It is crucial for James to find a trusted source of guidance to navigate the process of establishing a new home and integrating into the local community.
Competitive Audit
I went through the internet to find my direct and indirect competitors. And conduct a competitive audit to get a better understanding of what my competitors do well. Also finding market gaps to improve my product development to meet the users’ needs and expectations. ​​​​​

To address the gaps identified in the audit, I conducted an ideation exercise to generate innovative ideas. My main focus was on organizing the information in a way that provides a streamlined process, making it easier for users to accomplish their tasks.​​​​​​​
Digital Wireframes
Following the ideation session and the creation of several paper wireframes, I proceeded to develop the initial digital wireframe for the web app. The design prioritized a streamlined user experience, aiming to make it easier for users to locate information effortlessly.
Low-fidelity prototype
To prepare for usability testing, I developed a low-fidelity prototype that connects the primary user flow of searching for housing and entertainment information. This prototype allows users to navigate through the key features and functionalities, providing a basic representation of the overall user experience.

Usability Study: Parameters
Study type:
Unmoderated usability study

5 Participants
Calgary, remote

30-60 minutes
Usability Study: Findings
There were the main findings uncovered by the usability study:
1. Go back to the previous page: Users want to have the option to go back to the previous page

2. Hint to switch: Users need a clear hint on how to switch from page to page

3. Way to access the blog: Users want to have multiple ways to access blog posts
Incorporating insights gained from the usability studies, I made enhancements to the website design. One notable addition was the inclusion of a button, offering an alternative means to access the blog section. Additionally, I introduced a dedicated button that allows users to easily navigate back to the home page, improving overall navigation convenience.
To further improve the user experience, I implemented a design change that provides users with sufficient hints on how to play, pause, and exit the video. This adjustment ensures that users have clear and intuitive controls to interact with the video content, enhancing their overall engagement and allowing for seamless playback control.
Key Mockups (Mobile site)
High-fidelity Prototype
The high-fidelity prototype retains the identical user flow as the low-fidelity prototype, encompassing the changes implemented in the mock-up following the usability study. This guarantees that the final prototype faithfully represents the enhanced user experience, effectively considering the invaluable insights obtained during the testing phase.

Accessibility Considerations
1. Ensure that font sizes are set to a large and readable size. The foreground and background colors should exhibit sufficient contrast, adhering to the color ratio guidelines specified in WCAG 2.2.

2. Pay particular attention to the alt text of the infographics to prioritize accessibility for audio readers when making the web app inclusive and accessible.
Now the web app design is completed, my next phase is the responsive desktop website. Information architecture is one of the important elements to help guide users to complete their tasks
Responsive Design
The design considerations encompassed various screen sizes, including mobile, tablet, and desktop. I ensured that the designs were optimized to appropriately fit the specifications of each screen size while adhering to the accessibility guidelines outlined in WCAG 2.2.

The web app has a significant impact by providing valuable information to numerous newcomers and assisting them in learning more about the city. It serves as a comprehensive resource to help them adapt to the local culture and successfully settle down in their new environment.

What I Learned: 
Usability studies and user feedback play a pivotal role in shaping the project, often leading to unforeseen directions. The insights gained from these studies, particularly when considering accessibility compliance, have proven to be crucial in guiding the project's progress and ensuring a more inclusive and user-friendly experience.
Next Steps
1. Perform a single round of usability studies to assess whether the pain points identified by users have been effectively addressed and resolved.

2. Conduct two additional rounds of usability studies to explore potential opportunities for introducing the website in different languages, thereby accommodating a wider range of users and enhancing inclusivity.
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