David Pérez
Sep 12 · 6 min read

Moving to a foreign city is pure chaos: there’s a lot of things you have to take into account, and no easy way for reaching all that information. Aina, a iOS and Android app, shows you data to decide if moving is a good idea, and it also helps during the process.


This is a Case Study of the final project I made in two weeks during Ironhack’s UX / UI Design Bootcamp.

As a solo project, I was responsible of both the research and design processes.

You can see all my UX / UI work on davidperez.me


Moving abroad = chaos + a lot of doubts

People mostly moves because they got a job on that area, or because they want to study on another city, between other reasons. And moving home is one of the most stressful life-events for people, according to E.ON’s research.

And this stress is amplified if we’re moving to a foreign country. How much does things cost on that city? How can I find a new place to call home? Which tramites do I have to start with the local government, or with other entities?

“If we had known Dublin was that expensive, we wouldn’t have moved. Or we would have asked for more money.”

Remark during an user interview

All that information is important to make a decision, but this data is often hidden and distributed around various websites. Or it’s just available if you have access to an obscure expat group on Facebook. That doesn’t help when you’re doing a life-changing decision that provoques that level of stress.

Aina, Your Helper While You’re Moving Out

Aina not only helps you to make a decision with personalized data, or let the user explore various cities to move. Aina also helps while you’re moving, pointing out which actions you should make next. And it even makes settling in easier, finding communities based on your preferences.

  • Aina lets you explore cities all around the world, to help you decide where you want to move (or dream about it)
  • Once you’ve settled for a city you can explore all of its data in depth, and adjust your experience using filters
  • Are you already convinced about moving? Aina ask you some questions, and based on your data it creates a schedule to make moving out easier
  • And, because community is a key part for adapting into a new city, Aina helps you find new groups and people to meet with

Prototype Video

How Aina Gives You Information (and Where It Is)

One of the key aspects of Aina is information:

  • How much does a city cost?
  • How can a user find a new job, or a place to live?
  • Is there much paperwork involved?

According to user’s surveys and interviews, these are the most important factors when thinking about moving out. And all of that information is widely public, in a variety of sources (see the Competitive Analysis for more info on this).

But that sources aren’t always user-friendly, or they have too much information and are overwhelming. Or simply it’s available if you ask a person inside a closed-to-the-public, difficult to find, Facebook group.

Aina’s focus is showing that information to the user in a friendly and simply way, with an also easy way to adapt the information for each user. It also uses user’s data (job status, housing status…) to generate a custom schedule of next steps before, during and after moving out. Aina gives real-time feedback to the user as information is introduced on the survey, so the user feels that the data given is useful just after introducing it.

Also, surveys and user interviews showed that the most important thing when settling down in a new city is creating a new social network. New friends, places to eat, going out… and Events makes easier to find new people with the same interests. This feature algo justifies Aina’s use after moving out, giving another reason to it’s user to keep the app on their phones.

Aina’s Landing Page (Visit It Now!)

Also, as an easter egg, you can access the landing page right now on your browser.

UX / UI Research Behind Aina

UX Research

  • First a Lean UX Canvas was created, breaking down business’ needs, user’s needs, possible solutions and next steps.
  • For determining our User Persona, 190 users completed a survey and 7 users were further interviewed.
  • Once the User Persona was determined, an Affinity Map, Empathy Map and User Journey were created.
  • Finally, using all the information generated on the research, solutions were ideated and prioritized with a MOSCOW.

User Personas

Based on the information obtained on surveys and investigation, two User Personas were determined:

  • Main User Persona | Enrique (Male / 28 / Single), a Spaniard that thinks about moving out for a job.
  • Secondary User Persona | Claudia (Female / 23 / Single), a student wanting to explore the option to moving into another city

Competitive Analysis

Competence in this sector can be divided on:

  • Nomad-focused services | Nomad List, Passport Index, NomadGuide
  • Expat-focused services | Just Landed, Expatica, Expatistan
  • Data-focused services | Numbeo, Teleport, NerdWallet

Roa embraces the empty space between expat and data services, also taking nomads into account with the Explore feature.

Branding

  • Aina’s name is inspired by Hawaiian: it means “Land”, more specifically “Homeland
  • Aina’s logo is a swallow, a long-distance migrant bird
  • Aina’s colors are blue and aquamarine, transmitting feelings like calmness, relaxation and liberty
  • Aina’s typeface is Noto Sans, created by Google to be one of the most accessible typefaces on the Internet

Monetization

The main way to monetize Aina is user subscription. Users can try Aina’s features in a limited way before subscribing, giving Aina value before asking the user for subscribe.

Also, in the future, there’s the possibility of creating partnerships with different brands on each city. For example, if an user needs to create a local bank account, Aina can recommend banks and highlight partnered ones.

Prototyping & Testing

As part of the design process, a low-fidelity and a mid-fidelity prototype were created and tested with users. This helped to refine the design, achieving a more visual aspect on the final prototype.

Aina’s Next Steps

  • Create and test the “Explore” feature with the secondary User Persona
  • Create a function to show key facts given an address
  • Test a feature to determine if moving out is worth it

Thanks to Carlos Cañeras, web developer and engineering student at Universidad de Murcia, for investing his time into making aina.casa a real website, and Arantxa Royo, MD Student at CEU San Pablo, for creating Aina’s swallow from scratch. Go check their work too!

David Pérez

Written by

“Se encontraba exactamente donde debía encontrarse” | Era y sigo siendo redactor, ahora aprendo a diseñar experiencias. ¿Me acompañas? | https://davidperez.me

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