Hannah Jiang

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Week 5 – Peer Review

Design Statement

I am designing a digital platform for international students(age. 18-35) in New York City to learn about American English and culture from each other’s experience in order to adapt themselves to the U.S. society more efficiently.

Questions Asked and Answers

– What kind of experience can people share on this platform?
a. Experience of learning something new, such as an idiom, a behavior, a process of accomplishing a task, etc.
– “American culture” is very broad, maybe think about combining learning English and culture together?
a. Yup, that’s the goal
– Can people ask questions on this platform(like Quora)?
a. Yes. There should be a way for people to ask for help from others
– What is the specific goal of a user?
a. The ultimate goal of users should be improving English and acculturating.
– Think about hosting a workshop and have international students and native speakers together
a. Will consider this suggestion when necessary
– Is the platform in English or Chinese?
a. English. Although the target audience is mainly international students from China, the purpose of the site is to encourage them to step out of their comfort zone. Also, I don’t want to exclude students from other countries.


Week 5 – Finish process paper 1
Week 6 – Figure out the information architecture, get wireframes ready(a complete path of one usage story) for user testing, find out if there are any confusions, how engaged users are, their take away, and their willingness to contribute to the site
Week 7 – Mid-term, make iterations based on feedback from user test and presentation
Week 8 – Complete visual design(look and feel)
Week 9 – Implement prototype
Week 10 – User test, fix UX details
Week 11 – Keep building
Week 12 – Final presentation, get ready for the end year event

An idea sketch

Below is a sketch I had when I was exploring the interface of the platform. Basically, all the content are divided into different categories, and each category is represented by a building(e.g. The airport stands for traveling information). All the buildings are around a central park which is the core category – learning English.

Exercise-Analyzing one precedent

International Student and Scholar Services(ISSS) is an office at The New School which provides both immigration advice and cultural support in a welcoming and friendly environment.
– ISSS does well on covering all the details about documentation as well as advice on starting life in NYC, such as what questions to ask when renting. The instructions are helpful for international students especially the ones who come to the U.S. for the first time.
– What is missing from what ISSS offers is the instruction on how to overcome psychological struggles which, based on my personal experience and my interviews, are the biggest issue we are facing. The struggles are mostly from the anxiety of speaking a second language that we don’t master yet.
– The New School Health Center offers 8 free therapist counseling sessions for students who pay health insurance to school. However, to get help from therapists also requires us to express ourselves clearly in English. I went to a prep session myself which turned out making me more stressed.
– As I want to focus on Chinese international students, one thing that I can’t ignore is the political environment of China, which causes the fact that the history we learned could be totally different from what an American student learned. How are we supposed to deal with potential conflicts that may happen in conversations?