Simple Citizen - Case Study:

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Role

Product Design, UX/UI: Product Strategy, User Research,  Storytelling,  Information Architecture, Guidelines,

Interaction, Visual Design, Wireframing, Prototyping & Testing,

Time

15 - Days

Overview

Simple Citizen is a platform that provides green card application services and helps to facilitate the immigration process.

This website came across from a job interview I had with the CEO. I was very amused with the idea of people getting help with their green card applications via mobile or a simple platform. I could empathize because I had been through the US Visa process myself and could totally relate to the users, so I decided I wanted to give my input on this project regardless of the outcome of the interview. I felt I could bring some solutions to the table and started this case study by researching within the immigrant community I know.

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CHALLENGES

SOLUTIONS

Understanding the user needs

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Data

“Excluding tourism and unauthorized arrivals, most people arriving on visas or green cards are temporary workers, students, or coming to be with their families.” usafacts.org

 

Also according to USA Facts, even though the number of approved green cards fell by 40.9% in 2020, 707,362 green cards were granted in 2020.

 

The majority of foreign-born immigrants come from developing countries such as Mexico, Asia, and Latin America.

According to the Census Bureau, the US is growing more diverse:

 

The non-Hispanic white population fell below 60% in the 2020 census, with Hispanic Americans accounting for 51% of population growth between 2010 and 2020.

The Center of Immigration Studies (https://cis.org) says that the immigrant is on average 39-46 years old.

 

 

  • On an annual basis, 224,000 immigrants 50 and older settle in the country.

  • The average age of newly arrived legal and illegal immigrants was 31 years in 2019, compared to 26 years in 2000.

Interviews

There are multiple reasons, like work, family, safety, and school, that make many people around the globe have the desire to start a life in America.
But applying for a green card or residency in the US can be very stressful. Most of the time, it involves getting a lawyer, filing paperwork, financial planning, language preparation, and so on.
Having a platform that helps and seamlessly facilitates this process for those who may be encountering many other obstacles ahead can be life-changing.

I conducted a qualitative interview with 15 possible users.

They all went through the process for a visa in the USA between 2016 to 2021.

 

I tried to understand their needs and desires with some key questions and their development. I divided them into two categories:

 

  1. Emotional - Questions related to their feelings and thoughts during the process.

  2. Practical - Questions related to their decision makings.

 

I searched for answers to these and other questions:

 

What is the main reason to leave your home nation and go to America?

What is the main barrier encountered when arriving in the USA?

How important is it to have an attorney that speaks the same language as you?

What was your level of anxiety while dealing with the application?

How was the follow-up on the visa application process from the attorney?

Are you a member of a forum where people from your country exchange information about visa status, life abroad, or something like that? Why?

How much would you pay to get good service regarding your immigration status?

After reviewing those answers and their needs, in addition to the data collected, the conclusion was:

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Behavioural

Motivations

  • Better work experience

  • Following family members or spouse

  • Seeking the American Dream

Challenges

  • Cultural differences

  • Language/communication 

  • Being far from their community 

Feelings

  • Moderate to high anxiety

  • Doubts regarding their decision 

  • Fear of losing the investment on a negative answer

Practical

Investment

  • They rather do a payment plan

  • They have paid up to $6000 to an immigration lawyer but would preferably pay less for the kind of service they had

Discontent

  • Lack of follow-up from the attorney

  • Lack of clarification from the attorney

  • No empathy or attentiveness from the attorney

Product visions:

Information

  • They used email as the primary communication platform

  • They have joined at least one community forum aiming to exchange information about the process - using their first language

  • They wish someone has told them about laws, and important information regarding immigration, immigrants, or lifestyle in the new country. 

  • They would rather have an app or a platform where they could constantly check the status of their visa application or chat with the attorney.

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ALL-INCLUSIVE PRINCIPLES :

  • We want to offer services and information to everyone who is interested in moving to America, regardless of their language, cultural background, level of education, race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender.

FREEDOM IN ADHERING TO CERTAIN PROGRAMS:

  • Create programs free for whoever is interested in participating.

EASE OF CULTURAL EXCHANGE AND COLLECTIVE CONSTRUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE:

  • Besides the paid service of the visa application, anyone can join the forum and community on social media at no cost.

  • The goal is to make everyone comfortable enough to express and exchange their concerns, feedback, and experiences and have an understanding of the process regardless of culture and or language.

 

CLEAR AND EMPATHETIC COMMUNICATION :

  • Use the platform as an opportunity to reach customers in their personal sphere.

  • Making the customer feel valued and relieved of making a good decision.

CASE STUDY - Why redesign the website?

#01

UNCLEAR CJM (Consumer Journey Map)

#02

INCONSISTENT APPROACH WITH CLIENTS/CUSTOMERS

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USABILITY ISSUES BY MENTAL MODEL

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VISUAL ASPECTS AFFECTING CJM AND ACCESSIBILITY

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USER/CUSTOMERS WANT & DESERVE CLEAR STATUS FOLLOWUPS

MVP:

CUSTOM PAYMENT OPTIONS & CLARITY ON PAYMENT OPTIONS:

 

  • Incorporate payment plans, loans, and custom quotes for different services. 

 

LIVE & CONSISTENT CONNECTIONS:

 

  • Live chat with the same person from beginning to end of the experience,  1-1 communication through the platform, email, or Whatsapp. 

  • Community made of possible, present and past clients, with a moderator from Simple Citizen for FAQ, chat, etc to help and facilitate the understanding of the process.

 

ACCESSIBILITY/USABILITY:

 

  • Work with development to bring scalable fonts, audio screen reading, language facilitator, and video tutorials with subtitles.

TRACKING OF DEVELOPMENT:

  • Track the visa application progress with personal notes for reference or attorney. Mood tracker to measure anxiety level and options to relieve the stress.

SERVICE BEYOND SERVICE:

  • The clarity in communication, clarification, and follow-up on the applicants based on their mood tracker with assistance for that specific demand. Example: Follow-up on a client who is feeling insecure or anxious regarding the results. Clarify and explain whatever their concerns are.

CLEARER CUSTOMER JOURNEY FLOW:

  • Allow possible customers and users to understand the experience before making a payment. 

#02

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#05

#01

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PRODUCT ANALYSIS & SOLUTION:

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USER FLOW (CJM):

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#01

ORIGINAL USER FLOW:

Eligibility tool  link > visa type option > green card type option > visa related step option > payment option 

  • No results on eligibility. 

  • No information about visa types, and how or why to choose those options.

  • Payment induced without clarification of eligibility.

  • Low color contrast.

  • Click area too small.

  • Home page misleading - no mobile app available.

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USER FLOW SUGGESTION:

Eligibility tool  link > visa type option > green card type option > visa related step option > confirmation  of eligibility > contact options > payment option 

  • An actual quiz test.

  • Information about visa types, and how/why to choose those options.

  • After quiz, options that lead with an attorney free consultation.

  • Payment plan.

  • Customizable page.

  • Larger fonts for better identification.

  • Most apparent contrast on colors.

  • Visual design no misleading visual design.

UI & High fidelity wireframe:

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