CHALLENGE + APPROACH

Imagine assimilating to a new culture or trying to get a better job— technology would be an integral part of your journey. Learning online can be intimidating, especially if it's your first time... but what if it wasn't?

I conducted generative field research and co-led a 20% project at Google to build an educational platform. 

Special thanks to

Ahmed Afek, Amira Fuoad, Sage Moon and Hector Mujica

 

TEAM

  • Asif Iqbal Software Engineer

  • Amalee Nsour Co-Project Lead / Content Manager

  • Hamad Khajawa Software Engineer

  • Eric Park Software Engineer Lead

  • Patima Pataramekin Co-Project Lead / Designer / Researcher

  • Taha Rafiq Software Engineer


RESEARCH SNAPSHOT

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GoALS

1. To learn more about resources and support systems refugees trust

2. To better understand learning needs, constraints, expectations, and limitations

METHODOLOGY

  • In-Context Immersion

  • Observation

  • In-Depth Interviews (11)

  • At Home Visits (6)


DISCOVERy

MY PROCESS

My ethnographic field study started in the cultural center of Istanbul in order to gain a sense of Turkey's various customs and conventions.

Staying with locals and refugees, I worked my way to the Syrian border, providing firsthand perspective to the humanitarian crisis.

 

WHAT I LEARNED

Interviews ranged from two hours to two days. The more I immersed myself in their everyday experiences, the more trust I gained.

By relinquishing personal biases, I captured authentic truths — which, in the end, is what inspires good design.

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key INSIGHTS

SEARCHABLE CONTENT

When it comes to interacting with technology, people stick to what they know like social media and games. Lack of content discovery can be caused by the fear of trying new things or the inability to search.

How might we make the most relevant content easily searchable for a demographic?

 

ONLINE EDUCATION

Technology is only as powerful as one’s ability to use it. With the proliferation of smartphones, laptops and tablets, opportunities in online education are more promising than ever.

How might we impact markets that has access to technology, but may not be familiar with online education?


ASSEMBLing A TEAM

Refugee education initiative

I co-led Google's Refugee Education Initiative as a 20% project. The team raised awareness through documentary viewings on the San Francisco and Mountain View campuses.

In eight short months, the team created Voyager— an educational app meant to excite and prepare learners to explore beyond the platform's boundaries.

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Creating wireframes

REACHing DIFFERENT LEARNERS

My years of experience as a teacher influenced my decision to accommodate different learning styles through the use of podcasts, videos, text, image cards and audiobooks.

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PROTOTYPING THE DESIGN

DESIGNing FOR A GLOBAL MARKET

The research I conducted in Turkey was applicable to the desk research the team conducted amongst Syrian refugee populations in other countries.

Our design accommodates English, Arabic and German speakers — this allowed us to work through the nuances of building for RTL and LTR scripts.

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TeAChing HOW TO SEARCH

Voyager prepares learners to independently search for content on the internet. This was accomplished by using similar UX/UI elements from Google search. Through desk research and interviews in the field, I discovered a range of subject areas and interests.

DEVELOPING PRODUCT FEATURES

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CURATING CONTENT

BEING A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION

While mapping out the design, I highlighted popular content ranging from engineering to leadership skills. Stories that showcase creative use of technology and education were featured in an effort to inspire others.

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OPEN SOURCE CODE

GitHub October 2016



© 2019 Patima P. Pataramekin