First-generation immigrants in local politics - Barcelona
Mobile App Case Study
First-generation immigrants are those, who are foreign-born but have legal citizenship/permanent residency in their host country. I chose this project because I left my home country more than 13 years ago and since then I faced many issues as an immigrant.
Even though I always had legal residency in my host countries, I never really voted anywhere or practiced my rights as a legal citizen. If there was an app that helps first-generation immigrants getting involved in local politics, that could improve their life and the second- and third-generation immigrants’ life as well. We need to take action and make our voice heard because we have the right to make changes. And together it could be easier and more effective.
Within some hours I receive 24 answers and more than two third of them thought that a mobile app would be great for first-generation immigrants. The problem often is language and as most of the information are in Spanish or Catalan in Barcelona, my respondents expressed their need for an app where they can discuss their issues in English or at least in Spanish instead of Catalan.
Based on my findings I created user personas. One for the mobile app and another for the website.
First, I only wanted to create a mobile app design for an online registration platform for local elections. But in the end, respondents expressed their need for improving their communities, green areas and they would love to take action against the discriminative use of Catalan language at teacher-parent meetings at schools.
After drawing a User Journey I conducted a competitive audit. As there are no similar apps neither in Barcelona, nor in any other European countries with similar political background, I used the website of the Barcelona City Hall as an indirect competitor.
There should be a mobile app and a website built by immigrants with the help of locals to build and improve the sense of community. This app should be mainly in English with the option of Spanish, but all information should be available in English. Immigrants could organize their tax, healthcare and bureaucratic issues via this app, they could start discussions about topics they are interested in, and they could share their ideas on a platform.
Some sketches based on my ideas - Crazy 8s
We need more green areas!
I started to draw some version of the homescreen, spent some creative hours with my ideas. Here are some of my drawings:
Then I started to work in Figma and made some digital wireframes as well. Later on I ran a usability test with 5 participants before creating the mockups, hence these wireframes are the refined versions.
As the next step I made a lo-fi prototype
Then I created an affinity diagram. I usually draw and write everything on paper - maybe it is something generational :) - but I prefer to see the ideas and thoughts written down. I always used hand-written affinity diagrams in my ethnographic researches as well.
I transformed my insights into actions:
I could continue modifying the app design because there are many ideas to improve the app. But I wanted to share my initial design trials as a UX Researcher and Designer in training. The design elements I used were based on my plan to create a mobile app which makes the user relaxed and happy. As there are many issues as an immigrant that might make us upset or impatient. Hence the colour choice. The icons are easy to understand and I added the text to each button and icons so everybody can understand the steps to be taken in the app. I am still thinking about how to make the app more accessible. Obviously, not all first- generation imigrants in Barcelona can speak English. It would be great, if the app could have more language options: Spanish, Arabic and French as well.
I started to play with mockups and I am only sharing some of the screens here.
Here is a flow from the homepage to starting a petition after logging in to own profile.
I loved working on this mobile app design. I have a lot to learn and experience especially about the design part but I cannot wait to work on real projects. It is great, that I can really use my experience as a researcher and just need to translate the methods and findings into user research. However, for me observing users is hardly different from observing people during my fieldwork. If you want to know more about me and my experiences, please feel free to contact me.