Mapely — A Chatbot for Canadian Newcomers

Introduction

Do you remember the first time you visited another country and suddenly felt lost?

Maybe you spoke the local language, but can you imagine if you didn’t? Don’t you wish you had a helping hand to answer your questions, doesn’t matter how simple or how complex?

Can you image now living in that country?

A lot of people moving into Canada looking for better opportunities but don’t have the resources needed to integrate into their communities.

The goal of the app is to provide a helping hand to those newcomers by answering their questions about life in Canada in a friendly and concise manner.

User Centered Design

Business

A chatbot that helps Canadian newcomers to integrate more quickly into their communities.

Users

Newcomers (PR’s, temporary workers, students) that might have difficulties in the integration into their community; whether it be by asking simple questions (Where can I buy my groceries?) to more complex (How do I get a job?)

Visitors that might need help moving around the city or maybe asking questions about any particular landmark. Museums etc…

Residents — Special Users.

Problems

It feels very daunting to arrive in Canada and feel like everything is new. Like starting again. A lot of questions come into place and sometimes it’s very hard to ask because of language barriers or as simple as not knowing anyone in the country.

The information available through websites is very confusing and hard to read. More specifically they are not tailored to your specific needs.

Motives

1. Quick integration into their communities.
2. Finding a helping hand when facing new challenges.

Fears

1. Not giving correct information. Whose to say that the answer given to your specific question is maybe not correct or is outdated. 
2. Not finding information quickly enough.

Solutions

A lot of the information is already in Government websites but is very hard to read. Scraping through those websites finding specific keywords might solve this problem.

Scan for Google reviews about services.

Always try to use casual and friendly tone.

Always give sources about the information needed and paste the full link.

Gamify app by giving the possibility of adding reviews and ratings by other users. This creates a sense of community helping community.

Ability to also chat with a real person.

Alternatives

Government websites.

Informational websites.

Competitive Advantage

I believe the most important advantage would be the ease of use.

Government websites are good if you have the technical language already in use by the community, or if you already have an idea of what you are looking for. But they are not really tailored for people that don’t know specific terms.

UVP (Unique Value Proposition)

Help people integrate into their communities.

Customer Journey Map


User Research

I did a survey to analyse which are the first problem a newcomer to Canada faces. Not surprisingly housing is one of the most recurrent problems among newcomers.

Also, the surveys helped me create a better understanding of the persona the app is intended for.

Personas

Survey — Key Findings

1- Use a youthful and friendly tone while talking to the user.

2- In my survey, I found that newcomers to Canada are mostly students that find difficulty trying to find housing. I base my user flow based on that to create a strong relationship with the user.

User Conversation Flow

Based on my surveys I decided to tackle first the housing problem that the user might encounter.


Wireframes

Once the conversation flow had been established, I moved to sketch some wireframes for the chatbot.

Low Fidelity Wireframes

Update: Between these phases, I did a usability test for this user flow and I found that users were a bit confused about the first interaction with the bot.

Users felt that they were already inside a conversation without even having started one.

What I did was to completely redesign the first interaction with the bot. This new ‘home screen’ sets itself apart from the actual chat making the user feel like they are the ones initiating the conversation.

Conducting another test, this new design was more favourable.

High Fidelity Designs

Prototype

Using Principle I prototyped the user flow for Mapely.

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