THE PROBLEM

International students feel lost in a new country

Even though there is diversity in the United States, international students face a variety of General living, Academic, Social, Cultural, Psychological and Emotional adaptational challenges when they go to a foreign country to pursue their education

SOLUTION

Fella Mobile App

Designed a mobile application featuring voice user interface and AI which can be used by international students for searching new places, asking questions, finding friends, and learning more about different cultures.

My Role

UX Designer

Timeline

4 Months

Team

3 Members

CONTRIBUTION

My Role

Conducted a substantial amount of research among university students in the form of observational studies surveys and user interviews. After defining the user requirements, I created

• User flows

• Wireframes & mockups

• Interactive prototype for usability testing sessions

PROJECT GOALS

Create a one-stop shop for students to get the information they need

The goal was to focus on a solution which helps international students to overcome the predicaments faced in their day to day general activities in the social setting, thus making the transition smoother & convenient for students.

RESEARCH

Understanding students & their needs

In the research phase, to understand and identify the needs of international students influencing their academics, I conducted user interviews, observations during multiple university events, and a couple of online surveys. The research questions which we addressed were:

• What are the challenges, international students face when newly enrolled in school?
• How do students find related information for their day to day needs?
• How do students cope up with stress and loneliness when they feel homesick?
• What kind of activities students tend to get engaged in to overcome their problems?

User Interviews

We conducted in-depth and semi-structured interviews with eight international students from different countries studying various fields at Indiana University. Students faced issues in finding a place for accommodation, dealing with bank accounts, finding preferred restaurants, getting a driving license, etc. Even after regular newsletters and announcements, students were not aware of the local events and activities happening around them

Field Observation

Field observations were conducted in various places like at university event, student game room, and university coffee shop. During this,  we found international students were struggling with their communication to understand the local slang and various American accents.

Online Survey

Online surveys were divided into 5 sections which were General Information, Experiences, Cultural Differences, Technology, and Attitude. 31% of students responded to problems regarding general living, and 12% went for academic issues. Based on the responses, we decided to take some informed decisions

RESEARCH INSIGHTS

Challenges students were facing

On the basis of the collected research data, we categorized challenges faced by students under broad subjects. The major issues were:

General living

Finding accommodations, creating bank accounts, phone connection, health insurances, transportation, driving license, etc.

Social & Cultural Difference

Making friends, attending local events, learning and understanding local slangs, eating preferred food in restaurants, etc

Psychological & Emotional Problems

 

Isolation, homesick, loneliness and stressed due to various reasons tc.

Academic Difficulties

Unable to cope up with academics due to poor English proficiency.

AFFINITY MAPPINGS

Identifying and linking the gathered insights

To generate an in-depth analysis of qualitative research data, as a team we performed Affinity diagramming. We consolidated the information based on the issues faced by the international students and categorized them under above discussed subject frames.

USER PERSONA

Understanding user expectations

We created user personas to understand user behavior, goals, and their exceptions when they face the problems. This helped us to empathize the user needs.

BRAINSTORMING

Exploring new possibilities

Affinity diagramming, left us with a lot of features which were too broad and outreached.  To shortlist the main features, we conducted a brainstorming session. While mapping, we quickly realized that all the feature requirements were somehow interlinked.

STORYBOARD

Empathizing & capturing different scenarios

I created storyboards to visualize user’s scenarios in different situations. Creating this, helped us move on to see what all functionalities and features would serve best for our users.

DECISION MAKING

What was the rationale behind the solution?

After all the brainstorming, we decided to design some features and functionalities which were the best fit for the solution.

TASK FLOWS

Mapping out the user experience

We wanted to deliver a better user experience to students by letting them accomplish their specific goals within the app. To do this, we started by creating journey map based specific use cases.

WIREFRAMING

Low fidelity prototype

Based on the selected features and user scenarios, we created low fidelity prototypes for the app using Balsamiq tool

HIGH FIDELITY PROTOTYPE

Introducing Fella

We came up with design patterns for the user interface and designed high fidelity prototype for our solution. Using the Sketch app tool, we created the main UI screens for the app which are shown below.

Signup & login process

For secured login, students can use voice passwords and face recognitions. To expedite the signup process, existing emails, facebook or twitter accounts can be used

Onboarding & Personalization

To receive personalized notifications and suggestion, users can select their preferred tasks and interests they intend to accomplish. The user can add missing fields from the list at any giving point in time.

Create your gang

Students can create gangs to based on tasks and interests they have selected during personalization within the application. Users can choose if they want to make a gang, private or public and can also add other people using their contact list.

Create & share events

Students can create events within their gangs and invite their friends to that particular event. These events will be directly synced with the calendar to remind students about the event. Once the events are scheduled, students in that gang can respond using YES, NO or MAYBE depending on their availability.

Gamified learning experience

The app will notify students if they want to play a game based on the information it provides like social facts, slangs, etc. Once the students accepts the game request, they will be able to play a quiz game. We have a lot of exciting new feature we have planned for the future like providing restaurants deal coupons and so on.

More Projects

Knowledgehook UX Internship

An instructional tool for math teachers to assess student performance in class.

GE IoT Refrigerator

Designed a smart home IOT refrigerator for shared spaces along with its connected app.

IUPUI One-Spot Kiosk

On campus kiosk platform designed to help ease out student life.

ActVirtual App

Accessibility app to help disabled people to participate in public activisms.

Eskenazi Health Foundation

Coming Soon…

Get in touch

To know more about my work, feel free to drop me an email. Looking forward to hearing from you.