Tea Expert App

UX/UI Case Study
My Role
Project Time
Immigration, Social Security, Design
Entire product design from research to conception, visualization and testing
5 months
Project Overview
Tea is a platform connecting immigrant women with multilingual experts. It offers information on child care and job searching to aid in settling and navigating the German social security system.
The project was accompanied by a five-month user experience design training, followed by a fixed course and a digital implementation plan. It helped me to deepen my knowledge of UX design and explore approaches to Design Thinking.
Competitive Analysis
There were no comparable offers, so my research applied to products connected to a freelance expert and the target group of women. Creating competitive profiles (in terms of marketing strategy, target market, core business, usability, layout, navigation structure, compatibility, content, design, and performance) together with SWOT analysis helped assess current offers in this area.
Some prominent competitors provide general information on connecting experts in each city. Still, most focus more on matching people in the US and only English language communities.
Users still feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data available on these platforms and easily get distracted. Marketing will also be vital as we must encourage multilingual experts to join the app.

Also, the general advantages and disadvantages of online counseling and how to provide information about support services in a multilingual community to activate women's capabilities were essential parts of the research.
There is no, seemingly popular app that connects local multilingual experts to immigrant women. There’s a chance we might end up with a piece of a large market.
User Research: Interviews
Immigrant women have different social, educational, cultural, and religious backgrounds. A woman deprived of the most basic educational facilities has different needs from a woman who receives primary education. The target group of immigrant women in this research is those with primary education. I interviewed three people of different nationalities, aged 25 to 45.
1. Understand users' behavior when it comes to finding a piece of advice.
2. Determine which tasks users would like to complete using an expert app.
3. Document user pain points with the existing expert apps on the market.
4. Collect data on the context in which users would use a specialist app.
Immigrant women are struggling with:
1. Language
2. Expenses and money issues
3. Losing their support network and experiencing loneliness and social isolation.
4. Unemployment and lack of information on the German social security system, especially on higher education facilities

Helpful features on an expert app:
1. Good graphics with explicit content and text.
2. An introduction video of the expert to know how broad and deep their knowledge is.
3. Discussion questions for assessing expert tolerance, calmness, and confidence.
Building empathy
Using the quantitative and qualitative data from interview results, I defined the three target group profiles Samira (new mom, 28), Dudo (Mom, 37) as users personas, and Hande (Therapist, 46) as an expert persona to better empathize with my main user groups and prioritize goals according to their needs.
User Personas (PDF)
Task Flows & User Journeys
Once I understood who I was designing for, it was time to decide what features to include in my app and organize them in a comprehensible, intuitive layout. To make tangible the steps a user makes to book a call with an expert, I have created a corresponding task flow and journey map.
As the app gets more complex, journey mapping is beneficial, on the one hand, to put a comprehensive process on paper and uncover problematic and promising points, on the other hand, to provide a basis for good cooperation for all stakeholders.
User Journeys (PDF)
Information Architecture
Based on the insights gained from the initial content audits, competitor analyses, and card sorts with potential users, I defined the sitemap for Tea. I then evaluated it via three tests with potential users.
Sitemap (PDF)
Wireframing & Prototyping
With low-fidelity paper prototypes, the general structure of the application could easily be tested in usability tests. Taking the leap from paper to Figma enhanced my creativity because I could see variations in my designs more easily.

Clickable Prototypes
After some paper prototyping adjustments, wireframes, mid- and high-fidelity prototypes were created, which I supplemented with clickability using Marvel and Figma.
I wanted the app to have a simplistic, minimalist feel to align with the values of mindfulness. Plus, my user research showed that people didn't want to be overloaded with options and features.
Paper-Prototypes (PDF)
Mid Fidelity-Prototypes (PDF)
High Fidelity-Prototypes (PDF)Figma High Fidelity-Prototypes
Usability Testing was conducted remotely and in person with 6 participants. The tasks objective were:

1. Exploring the homepage; split buttons are intuitive enough.
2. Finding the message icon and writing a message.
3. Exploring the payment page and selecting a date, time, and payment method.

After watching my recordings, I created an affinity map to organize my usability test insights and landed on 2 key and more than 10+ minor problems to improve.
User tests revealed small vulnerabilities in the structure of the user interface in some formulations and interactions. In addition, the users asked smart questions, which led to further improvements. Some participants indicated they would be more inclined to create an account if they could explore the app first and then provide information.

Affinity Diagram (PDF)
Rainbow Spread (PDF)
Visual Design
The visual design was developed by iterating from mood boards and style tiles to the UI kit and finally creating the first version of the style guidelines.
Style guideline (PDF)
Tea's impact on improving women's quality of life and integration in Germany:

1. Improved Employment Rates:
With the job searching assistance offered by the app, the employment rates of immigrant women will increase. This will result in a decrease in the number of unemployed immigrant women and contribute to their financial stability.
2. Increased Enrollment in Child Care Programs:
The app's information on childcare options lead to an increase in the enrollment of immigrant children in childcare programs. This will ensure that immigrant women have access to affordable and quality child care, allowing them to work or pursue educational opportunities.
3. Improved Understanding of Social Security System:
The app's guidance on navigating the German social security system is likely to result in an increase in the number of immigrant women who understand and utilize these services. This improves their overall quality of life and reduces their financial stress.
4. Increased Sense of Community:
The app's multilingual support can help immigrant women overcome language barriers and feel more included in the German community. This can result in an increase in their sense of belonging and a decrease in feelings of isolation.

I initially aimed to develop a solution for immigrant women to address their daily challenges, including unemployment and childcare. However, the scope was too broad and ambitious. I had to narrow my focus to childcare alone during the project due to the complex nature of both issues.
Next Steps
1. Development of further expert personas and Journey Maps / Task Models.
2. More research on the unemployment category and collaboration with Agentur für Arbeit and Jobcenter
3. Further iterations/test phases.
#1 Solving the biggest problems requires small steps
Take small steps, because big changes can not be brought overnight, especially not just by an application alone. Accordingly, develop more strategically meaningful and realistically applicable tools that steer in the intended direction.

#2 User Research is more about getting to know users than testing designs
The more you understand users, the better design decisions you can make and the less you need to ‘test.’ That’s because you’re no longer making assumptions but making decisions based on knowledge.

#3 Always question everything and listening
You can’t solve problems well that you don’t understand. The most powerful tool is the question ‘why’? I learned that one of the effective techniques in working with stakeholders and in critiquing design work is the ‘5 Whys’.