Rafik is a story based application to help refugees realize their entrepreneurial goals. It breaks down the fundamentals of setting up a business, and offers step-by-step guidance at each level. The application revolves around a success story, and is guided by a persona of a real life person who took a similar path.
Every year thousands of refugees are moved into the United States. Entering a new country, they face a myriad of hurdles, including, cultural and linguistic differences, transferability of education and professional skills, inadequate community support, and so on. Although several refugee resettlement agencies provide substantial assistance in addressing these challenges, refugees are still left with a guidance and inspirational gap in realizing their goals.
Contextual Inquiry & Surveys
For our field research we approached two refugee resettlement agencies - ACCESS, and Jewish Family Services to get a first hand understanding of how refugee resettlement works. We conducted several face-to-face interviews with refugees, teachers, coordinators, and staff associated with both the organizations. We have also conducted one survey for refugees at the Jewish Family Services. Aggregating field data during the interpretation sessions suggested that refugees who successfully ran businesses at their home countries faced difficulty in started a business here. They felt overwhelmed by policies, business plans, procedures, communication, and other aspects associated with setting up a business.
We created a persona around our findings from the field research to weave our design around the capabilities and needs of the persona.
Storyboard & Sketches
To envision various scenarios, and the most intuitive workflows for the application, we have created storyboards and sketches.
We felt that a storytelling approach with a real life persona walking through the application would not only serve as an inspiration for the refugees, but would also help as a guide at each step. During the onboarding process, refugees can select the area in which they would like to setup a business, and a success story of a person who took a similar path would be played. Persona from this story would guide the user through the rest of application. The user would then be suggested modules to complete for getting started with setting up a business, where a module contains tasks broken down into smaller steps. For instance, business plan module contains 8 steps, and completing all the steps would lead to a ready to use deliverable. Additionally, it provides a messaging system to talk to mentors from refugee agencies, and a forum to discuss with like minded people.