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12 Weeks

Team Members

Composed of four members

My Role

  • Market analysis
  • Interviews 
  • Contribution to concept development
  • Developing new concept
  • Contribution to prototyping
  • Assisting in usability testing 


  • Figma
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Premiere Pro
  • Miro  
  • Bubble IO


Product Design
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Market Analysis
  • Interviews 
  • Personas
  • Storyboarding
  • Sketching
  • Low, mid and high-fidelity prototypes
  • Surveys, Questionnaires 
  • Think-aloud protocols
  • Moodboards
  • Affinity Diagram
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Cultura empowers immigrants from feeling like a "nobody" to a "somebody". 

The digital solution of our web app Cultura's rationale is to allow a positive safe space for adolescent immigrants to share, communicate, and learn about others' experiences.

The immense struggle for belonging and forming or reforming cultural identities is evident in the vulnerable, marginalised communities of young immigrants in Australia, resulting in negative mental health impacts.

The Brief 

The Problem 

Research Objective 

Digital technologies for community engagement risks the exclusion of other demographics, e.g migrants, refugees, LGBTQIA, and people with disabilities)

Develop a functional interactive prototype;

  • Responds to the brief

  • Engages a specific audience around an issue that affects them

  • Considers accessibility and empowers individual users

Adolescent and young adult immigrants share a common problem of having to question their identity (losing their identity). These individuals are vulnerable in needing help to embrace and protect their own cultural individuality, whether it be their birth, or chosen, culture.

To explore how to help them understand and feel more comfortable with themselves, allowing them to form communities and connections. 


Define Problem


Background Research

Immigrants in Australia are an example of one such marginalised group that is negatively impacted by issues leading to potential mental health issues. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, by 2020, there were 7.6 million migrants living in Australia, which makes up 29.8% of Australia’s population. Immigrants share a common issue of having to lose their identity or sense of belonging, especially among teenagers and young adults.  This makes it harder for individuals to open up about themselves or their issues to others, in fear of feeling unaccepted or judged by a community.

Problem Area 

The dangerous consequence for immigrants accepting the idea of being labelled or categorised as an outsider may lead to the ‘double consciousness’ effect when an individual starts internalising themselves. They lose the ability to view things from their perspective as well as formulate the subjective process of ‘who am I” (Kebede, 2010). The difficulty of cultural identity formation is often reflected as an inclusionary and exclusionary approach by social constructs rather than an individual one because a person views itself as always being embedded into society (Hack-Polay, Mahmoud, Kordowicz, Madziva & Kivunja, 2021). The research findings and previous user interviews address the need to empower immigrants’ cultural self-growth and gain a sense of belonging to avoid the potential harm to one's psychological well-being.

1. Changes in personal ties and social networks 
2. Shift from one socio-economic system to another 
3. Shift from one culture to another

Target Market 

Our target market for this project is teenagers and young adult immigrants. At this age — typically ages 16 through 24 — individuals often face identity crises and dilemmas with the self. This inevitably influences the individual’s identity development process by forming an identity that is in some ways distinct from that of parents, background, and ascribed roles.

Competitor Analysis

Family Reunions Project (VR)

Helping Latinos reconnect with their roots. Immigrants apply to become part of its project via their website. The participants can watch a 360-degree video footage of their hometown and their family and loved ones using a VR headset.


Reddit is a network of communities where people can dive into their interests, hobbies and passions. There's a community for whatever you're interested in or whatever issues you are facing, including immigrants.

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We examined existing social media apps: Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter, as well as the VR Family Reuinions Project, and broke each platform down to their individual strengths, weaknesses, and possible opportunities it presents to us. Most of these services allowed for people to connect with each other, but in the case of immigrants, they were all too broad and had too large a scope. They aren’t tailored to a specific audience, but try to capture as large a user base as possible. Furthermore, although the VR Family Reunions Project does have good intentions, it ultimately is not largely accessible due virtual realtity not being a widely avaliable technology.

Market Analysis

The difficulties each immigrant confronts currently are not new, except for their storiesTo better understand the situation, the voices of immigrants present honest insights into the triumphs and tribulations at all phases of their journey in transitioning to a new life in a foreign country.

Since statistics cannot share the experience of immigration, it's critical to instead broaden the research into investing in people's stories to encapsulate one's psychological and emotional sequence. The stories collected indicate a recurring pattern that challenges one's preconceived notions of lack of cultural identity and sense of belonging which inevitably follows levels of stress or pressure that may shape an unhealthy or negative mental state. 

The true story of twins Brizzia and Maria Munoz is an example of undocumented immigrants that originated from Mexico, at the age of 5 years old, were told to memorise fake names growing up in the United States (Shaughnessy, 2015)

“we’re not illegal aliens...we’re humans”

“It’s a burden that you have to cover up who you really are

“people made cruel jokes about immigrants...cross country runner said they should be good at jumping walls and running”


Understand User 
Redefine Problem


Research Findings


To give a good grounding to our concepts or solutions, several interviews with our target market involved five young adult immigrants living in Australia, each with different backgrounds and cultural beliefs. 

The one-on-one interviews allowed for honest testimonies from the participants. From the interviews, we found several similar findings amongst the participants, which helped us to extract insights from our analysis.

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User personas were created by synthesising the data from the interview to communicate user needs within the design team (Figure 1 and 2).The persona uses storytelling to “thread people’s motivation, attitudes and behaviors into a unified character” (Tomitsch et al, 2018, p100).​


Potential devices 
Find solution from insights


Concept 1 - Cultura

Connect and Share Experiences

A social media app built around different cultures, where users could share their stories and make friends with others. The app creates a sense of belonging and a sense of comfort. By connecting and sharing with each other culturally, they feel happy, which leads to a positive self-image.

Storyboard 1

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Sketch 1

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Concept 2 - Indue

Empower to promote mental health

Indue, a self-care platform where you get daily creative challenges to empower yourself (e.g. share a sweet moment when someone local did a good act of service that made your day, what is one thing that you’re most proud of in your culture?). The focus is that in this community, everyone is an individual who is unique on their own.

Storyboard 2

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Sketch 2

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Concept 3 - Bond Pond

Social and Self Empowerment

An app that uses AI to match individuals with the same culture and interests automatically. The concept enables users to get to know each other with similar immigrant encounters, eventually building long-lasting and supportive friends when learning about their own culture together.

The app allows users to c
hoose from a series of their own cultural activities to better enhance their knowledge which both users will meet up and complete together. Users are then guided through an activity chosen with the help of Bond Pond app by text, photos, and videos and can communicate to ask a question using voice control. 

Rapid Prototyping

High-fidelity Prototype 
Integrated Testing


Storyboard 3

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Sketch 3

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Testing Approach

To ensure we had adequate levels of testing for the project, we engaged in a series of user testing methods. These ranged from surveys, interviews, and think-aloud protocols, as well as participating in the test fair. We did this in order to gather a wide array of feedback that we could then use to further iterate on our concept and design.
Our goal was to build one concept, test it, analyse the testing results, re-iterate it, and create an improved design.
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A questionnaire and Poll were conducted to analyse the concepts 

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Chosen Concept - Cultura   

Amongst the three concepts, Cultura stood out the most. The participants thought the app to be useful and innovative and they also found a lot of opportunities to improve the app.

Many found the app to be i
nnovative and unique, especially when compared to other concepts, as not many social media platforms are particularly tailored for immigrants.

Developing the New concept 

Value Proposition 

All-in-one platform for the immigrant community to actively learn about culture from one another through a mentoring system. The mentoring system enables young immigrants who are inexperienced to learn from others who are experienced.

New Feature: Mentoring System 

Utilising chat rooms, video calls, messaging and a mentoring system, immigrants who are looking for mentorship can easily find these chat rooms and learn from the focus group sessions. 
Mentors are volunteers who are experienced immigrants, so having a mentor would make our potential users feel more relaxed, and comfortable, and emphasise their struggles and frustrations in a safe environment. 

New Feature: Discussion Groups

This ensures that all users are given a voice and the space to speak about relevant issues they’re facing. It also aligns with the user's needs as it provides them with practical help. These groups can either be run by mentors or can simply be a place for mentees to casually chat about their issues.

Design Experiments

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We decided to make mood boards for each design iteration with different styles. The mood board is particularly helpful in making sure that everyone is on the same page before the design process begins. 

Iteration 1

Iteration 2

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Test Fair - Prototype, interview and survey 

Test Fair - Prototype

 We tested with a multitude of groups and participants in order to get the most amount of feedback possible, and used the same goals as in our think-aloud protocol. To summarise, most of the feedback received was widely positive, with many testers praising the clean user interface and easy-to-follow prototype. Some critical feedback was received, particularly in strengthening the bond between the mentor and mentee.

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Test Fair - Interview & Surveys 

After the tests, we conducted informal, 5-minute interviews. We asked questions about the process of completing the three tasks, any particularly positive or negative experiences they faced, and whether or not they had any suggestions for what can be done moving forward. We had testers complete a short survey where they would answer a set amount of questions relating to the difficulty of the tasks, how helpful the system would be, and whether or not people would actually use it if they were in the shoes of our target user. Testers found the system easy to use and understand, with there being a lack of difficulty when completing tasks.

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Core Functionality

Final Prototype - Bubble IO 

We opted to use when actually developing our concept. Ultimately, we settled on developing the main functions of our web app, whilst creating the visuals of other screens in the same app, but without the functionality. Since these are the main focuses of our concept, we wanted to prioritise developing those to the best of our ability.

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