Your Touch, Your Power, Your World all at Your Fingertips!
Case Study Expat Parent Network
When moving to another country to have or raise children, there is a creation of fear and anxiety produced by language barriers, cultural familiarity, and distant family members.
Project To create an app for expat parents living in Firenze looking for other expats to share experiences with discussions and meetups.
Project Duration June to July 2023
My Role Lead UX Designer, Website & Mobile App Creator,
The Problem Moving to another country to have or raise children is scary and anxiety-producing, caused by language barriers, familiarity, and distant family members.
The Goal This website and app are trying to reduce the anxiety produced by moving to another country, especially with having children and raising them in that country, with events, discussion groups, and information on local resources provided by the mobile app and website.
With the usability testing on both the low and high-fidelity prototype testing, I was using these Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Time On Task
Use Of Navigation Icons Vs. Search
User Error Rates Conversion Rates
System Usability Scale (SUS)
The KPIs used were to gauge the progress and insights of the user and the different tasks to get to the final booking through the contact form.
This class project was constructed from the group I created for just moms in Firenze. The aspect that is only just moms is why I was also looking into including other parents. A need to open it up to be all-inclusive to all parents. This is a needed app for all parents from other countries and living in another country. It is a scary and frustrating process, but others in this familiar situation can relax the parent and help them grow through their new life in a new country.
Conduct thorough market research for Firenze expat parents.
Define target audience: Firenze expat parents, multilingual.
Develop a memorable brand identity and mission story.
Launch a blog for expat parenting and local tips.
Utilize SEO for organic traffic growth.
Establish social media presence, leverage influencers.
Optimize app store listings and encourage positive reviews.
Build a user community with virtual events.
Implement a referral program with incentives.
Consider paid ads targeting Firenze expat parents.
Analyze and adjust marketing efforts using KPIs.
Actively gather user feedback for continuous improvement.
In conclusion, the Expat Parent Network project has addressed a pressing need and created a valuable and inclusive community for expat parents in Firenze. Reducing the anxiety and challenges associated with raising children in a foreign country enhances the well-being of individual users and contributes to building a more connected and supportive expat community. The impact of this project extends beyond the digital realm, as it brings together people from diverse backgrounds, encouraging friendships, sharing knowledge, and ultimately helping families thrive in their new environment. As one user said, ‘You should make this app for real.’ This statement is a testament to the genuine need for such a platform, and it’s a testament to the positive change it can bring to the lives of expat parents. The journey from idealization to creation has been a learning experience, reinforcing the importance of user-centered design, empathy, and iterative development. This project represents how design can bridge gaps, alleviate fears, and transform lives, one user at a time.
I took on this social project because I am already a founder of a similar group of expat mothers. The one thing that was noticed was what about the fathers. With this project, I incorporate both mothers and fathers in hopes of maybe changing the existing group. This may come to fruition soon.
Research summary of the user
A primary user group identified through research is adults with children and pregnant adults who are foreigners to Italy living in Firenze. By incorporating the user problem statements and creating a network discussion app and website for interaction between expat parents. It is hard to move to another country as a single person, but to do it with your children is scary and anxiety-producing. The possibility of reducing these problem points can be helped by socializing with other parents in the same situation.
Bonnie Simpson is having her 1st pregnancy as a US expat while living in Italy with her Italian husband. She needs the ability to chat with other expat moms going through pregnancy and delivery in Italy while speaking English because chatting with other expat moms will reduce her anxiety about being pregnant and giving birth in Firenze, Italy.
Ansel Müller is a German native dad, married to an Italian woman; they have two children and just moved to Firenze, Italy. He needs to find other expat parents who speak German or English; because of his lack of Italian and because he is new to the area, finding other expat parents to help him is needed to reduce his fears and anxiety about living in a new country
User Research: Pain Points
Pregnancy and delivery in another country: The users were concerned that they did not know the Italian language enough to navigate the child birthing system.
Meet others in similar situations: They need to meet others who can relate.
Figuring out civil documents: Documents are in Italian, and users feel their language skills are inadequate for understanding governmental documents.
Being far away from home country: Sadness being away from their home country and the language they are native to speaking but also the customs of that country.
It was essential to sketch many examples in a paper wireframe. That is your starting point and the beginning of the app creation. I prioritized the main features needed for the pain points the users were experiencing. So, discussion sections, social groups, calendar of events, etc. I placed a star next to those items I wanted to keep in the next step of the digital wireframe.
This digital wireframe is the first design created from a paper wireframe and has changed throughout the month. These changes were based on the user feedback from the first usability study. An example would be the social group section on the home screen.
Moving from paper to digital wireframes made it easy to understand how the redesign could help address user pain points and improve the user experience. Prioritizing a helpful menu, especially with a contact page with a detailed contact form. Visual awards stickers placed on the home page were a key part of my strategy for showing professionalism and quality. Finally, I could add the low-fidelity prototype links to create interactive digital wireframes for mobile and desktop screen size variations.