SwApp: mobile app

Berlin is an amazing city, but sometimes can be overwhelming and starting off in a new country can be challenging, but what if you could get some help? What if there was a network of people helping each other? A network, in which diversity is a plus and everyone can get their problems solved while building new relationships.

MY ROLE: UX/UI designer

TOOLS: Figma

DATE: May-June 2021

Analysis of the market

As always, before working on the concept, I started analysing the market, to see if there was something left uncovered, what were the strengths and the weaknesses of each service and how they solve the problems.

Mostly, the communities of people from different countries connect through Facebook groups, MeetUp, AirBnb, InternNations and Couchsurfing.

- AirBnb and Couchsurfing, although, even if offering events and workshops, are not really meant for immigrants, but mostly for tourists: you can always join events, of course, but they’re based on entertainment, surely there's nothing about bureaucracy or other struggles people have to face when living in a foreign country.

- MeetUp, on the other side, is perfect to build friendship or work connections and also to get closer to the local culture (through language events, for example), but also in this case, there's not a network to help people solving concrete problems, like getting their health insurance.

- Through Facebook groups people can try to connect and ask questions in order to get some help, but it’s definitely about sociality, not about solving individual problems or getting a service.

- InternNations was created to connect expats who live in the same city and to solve problems related to moving and living abroad. Using the app you can connect with people from other countries, go through the various topics explained in the forum about life in the city or hire experts to solve your problems.
For example, if you’re willing to move to Berlin from another European city, you will pay 90 EUR for a 30 mins call with a relocation expert or 240 EUR for a 1 hour call with a realtor that will talk you about the neighbours and will present you 5 different options.

So basically the options available were either based on empathy/sociality or on a pure work relationship.

There was nothing that combined the two things and gave the oportunity to fulfil the need of integration while solving practical problems.

Survey and interviews

I prepared a survey, to get to know my target group, I needed to get a precise idea of the struggles immigrants deal with daily.
I launched the survey in some Facebook groups for expats in Berlin and 180 people answered (thank you!).

I also asked the participants to do a follow-up interview, when possible, becasue I wanted a wider picture of the psycological and emotional situation of my potential users, I wanted to know not only what they needed but also how they fell.

Besides my questions, I also asked the participants to leave me some comments about their experience, in order to get more personal feedbacks.

Based on the survey and interviews, I created 3 user personas:
clearly my interviewee had different experiences and backgrounds, so they also needed different solutions (and would have different journeys).

How might we...?

HMW go through the bureaucracy smoothly?

HMW help the users feeling understood in a foreigner country?

Experience map

Connie, Lisa and Alex were in 3 different situations, but based on their characteristics, I prepared 1 experience map that could be valuable for Connie and Alex and another one that could be valuable for Lisa.

User flow

Based on the experience maps, I was finally able to build a user flow diagram, that included the 3 different situations, that were complementary to each other, giving meaning to the whole project.


Once I had the structure clear in my mind, I started doing some rudimental sketches.


First session of testing

The most important and crucial actions the user can do through the app are posting a help request and answering one. So, here we go:

How easy was it to post a help request? (1= not easy, 7= very easy)

74% answered 7
10% answered 6
9% answered 5
7% answered 5

How easy was it to contact someone through their request? (1= not easy, 7= very easy)

79% answered 7
12% answered 6
9% answered 5

Participants found the design clear and the process smooth. They gave me some interesting inputs about making the contact part more playful and fun. I decided to work on these suggestions at the end of the process, after completing all the essential parts of the app.

Branding and UI


Time to have fun with the screens!

Onboarding and login

Post a help request

The user can post a request starting from choosing what they need, then what they can offer and finally adding a message.

Answer a help request

The user can search for others' requests, selecting by type: other they are offering a service or they need one. The user could be not sure yet about what to offer or, at the opposite, could have something to offer but not know what to ask in return. In this way they can just browse.
Otherwise, they can simply go through all the open requests.