MOV.

Mobile App Design Help Students Relocating in New Places

INTRODUCTION

Think about moving to a new area, begin a period of new life for 3 months. Locations means not only a physical space, but an area of interest. The choice of location not only would affect the daily lives in terms of shopping, dining, and transportation, but also affect the social activities users are involved in.

It is a semester project for LMC 6314-Design of Networked Media on 2015 spring. We try to explore the meaning of location and what impacts it can bring for people who has moved to a new place. The deliverables is an app which is built in order to enhance the relocation experience specifically for summer intern students. 

Problem Definition

What does moving mean?

The circulation of population is an interesting social issue. From our perspective, different locations not just mean different physical space. It is more about residents’ subjective feeling about these different locations. Many factors will affect people’s preference for some locations and dislike of others. These factors include the number of friends around the location, the population component of the location, culture around the location.

For our project, we regard summer intern students as our research subject. It is common for students who have internship in a different location of their schooling location to find house in summer. When it comes to the topic of relocation, there are many factors should be considered.

Brainstorming

We did a brainstorming firstly in order to consider what changes that relocation may bring to summer internship students.

Move to a new area, begin a period of new life for 3 months. Locations means not only a physical space, but an area of interest. The choice of location not only would affect the daily lives in terms of shopping, dining, and transportation, but also affect the social activities users are involved in.

User Participatory Design

Then we did a user participatory design in order to stand with our real users - upcoming summer internship students who need relocation. The test participants were encouraged to write all the contents that may be changed because of the upcoming relocation.

Then we try to categorize these factors which are proposed by our test participants. We think this will help the determination of our functional modules.

INTERACTION DIAGRAM

Then we analyzed the Mental model (User Needs) of our test participants. Also, we asked them where do they get those information that is concerned with relocation.

After acquiring these sources of information, we analyzed their information display mode which can be applied to our design solution.

Design Scheme

Based on user needs concluded from research, we defined three functions of our product.
1. Help summer internship students find apartment
2. Help summer internship students get quick knowledge of the new city.
3. Provide social interaction assistance to summer intern students.

REFLECTION&FUTURE WORK

For this project, we are interested in location-based service and try to dig deeper into the actual needs of users under certain context. We found it’s very important to follow the design process and justify every decision we made. It’s really challenging to find the balance of not too specific as well as not too wild open.

For future work, we plan to talk with more targeted users about the problem space, find out what’s the core aspect that users care about when moving for short period. Also, we should learn from the design patterns used by the platform like Yelp and Facebook, see how they made the decision of integrating more information and functions while not losing its main focus.