Cross-Cultural Guides 

 Problem:  Have you ever felt disoriented or out of place? Wishing you could connect with people different from you? You are not alone. Cross-cultural workers may also experience this in response to urgent global needs.

 Opportunity:   How might we equip cross-cultural workers to enter a new culture? 

 Proposed solution: This pamphlet, app, and set of flashcards provide a basic foundation so that cross-cultural workers can have strong and healthy partnerships in the U.S. and abroad. 


VISIT LIVE XD PROTOTYPE ︎




A STUDENT PROJECT FOR
World Health Organization (W.H.O.)

USER

Cross-cultural workers


ROLE

Researcher, Designer


TOOLS

Illustrator, InDesign, Xd, Miro


DELIVERABLES

Pamphlet, App, Flashcards

︎︎︎




 Outcome preview. 

 







 Research: starting with the user. 


Meet Jolene

A CROSS-CULTURAL WORKER’S JOURNEY PREPARING FOR THE MIDDLE EAST

Jolene’s excited to go to the Middle East but she’s had a few issues so far. Jolene’s Arab friend invited her to a Middle Eastern family gathering. However, she had no idea that sitting with the bottoms of her feet facing her Arab friends would offend them. She only knew after the fact because of her Arab friend. She couldn’t change the past and feared unintentionally offending people in the future.


 FINDING & IMPLICATION 1 
Jolene only knew what was culturally offensive through her trusted Arab friend
.
︎︎︎ Creating an educational resource filled with those golden nuggets of wisdom that only locals would know may help orient Jolene. 



 FINDING & IMPLICATION 2 
Jolene is
tech savvy and has her iPhone within reach at all times. 
︎︎︎ Having a digital resource (with offline access) could be like a trusted friend on the go. 


 FINDING & IMPLICATION 3 
Jolene faces a lot of information on the web. But what is credible and relevant?
︎︎︎ Jolene would benefit from a centralized rouce of information with locally-sourced information.


 FINDING & IMPLICATION 4 
Since Jolene is on the go, she may need something accessible and concise that accommodates to different learning methods.
︎︎︎ I therefore chose to design a pocket-sized pamphlet with an app and flashcard version filled with information from locals. 


 Stakeholder map. 


Who might have an interest in this product?

POTENTIAL PARTNERS & FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH A STAKEHOLDER MAP



︎ Who
︎
Primary goal
︎
What they say
︎
What they do

︎ Strong connection
︎ Normal connection
︎ Weak connection
︎ Missing connection


THE VALUE OF TRUST
The W.H.O. has in immense network. In addition to local partnerships, the W.H.O.’s academic partners may provide credible information that Jolene seeks.


 FINDING & IMPLICATION 5 
There are strong connections between the W.H.O., workers, and the host country.
︎︎︎ Enable communication and collaboration between these parties through ongoing chats and shared information.


 Interviewing. 


Gold nuggets from an experienced traveler

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY, EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING, & A LEARNER’S MINDSET

I interviewed Alex, and we talked about her experience entering a new culture. She spent 3 months in North Africa for an internship. We focused on how she prepared and integrated into the culture. Overall, there were 3 overarching themes in our conversation: COMMUNITY, EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING, and adopting a LEARNER’S MINDSET. She had a supportive community, learned through her own experiences, and was often reminded to take a learner’s mindset by mentors. Her experience was personal, first-hand, and not isolated.

    Interview questions:
  1. Name and a bit about your background.
  2. What does a typical day look like for you?
        a.  What are key objects or routines you have throughout your day?
  3. Have you ever entered a different cultural context that you are not used to?
        a.  If so,
                ︎︎︎ Where and when?
                ︎︎︎ For how long?
                ︎︎︎ Can you tell me about your experience? A typical day?
                ︎︎︎ What were the highs of that experience? (Strengths)
                ︎︎︎ What were the lows of that experience? (Pain points)
                ︎︎︎ Did you prepare for this experience? If so, how? If not, why?
                ︎︎︎ Is there something that you wish you knew/did before you left?
                ︎︎︎ What advice would you give yourself now?
        b.  If not,
                ︎︎︎ Is there somewhere you’d like to go? A new culture to enter?
                ︎︎︎ What would you do for your trip before you left?
  4. If you had a magical wand, what would you wish for to improve your experience entering a new culture?
  5. What would you have done differently to prepare for entering this new culture?


 FINDING & IMPLICATION 6 
Alex learned in community. She was not alone, but had shared experiences with other interns and her local relationships.
︎︎︎ Adding a community aspect to the resources (chat feature, accountability, shared goals, etc.) could enrich the user’s shared experience.



 FINDING & IMPLICATION 7 
Alex had cultural classes that challenged her to apply practical knowledge in the real world. For example, one day, she was taught by a local how to take a taxi. Afterwards, she was challenged to actually take a taxi.
︎︎︎ This educational resource would have an experiential learning aspect that would provide basic knowledge and then challenge the user to apply the knowledge.



Gathering content from primary & secondary sources  

WHAT BASIC INFORMATION MIGHT JOLENE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST?

I have colleagues from the Middle East, and asked them about their culture. They were many reoccuring cultural norms that I included in the pamphlet. (For example: don’t eat or greet people with your left hand because it is seen as “unclean”. In many Middle Eastern countries, the left hand is used to clean oneself with water after using the bathroom.)

︎︎︎ It must be emphasized that there is no “one” type of regional culture or society. The world is full of rich and diverse communities, groups, and cultures. Differences exist not only among countries but within countries as well.

︎︎︎ It seems impossible to talk about groups of people without generalizing. These deliverables attempt to be as accurate and specific as possible but do contain generalizations. They do provide insight into a culture, but the relevancy of the information will depend on the context and specific circumstances.

These cultural guides (pamphlet, app, and flashcards) are designed to specifically give cross-cultural workers or travelers an INITIAL FOUNDATION for entering a new culture. It can also be used for informal or small group instruction. 

 FINDING & IMPLICATION 8 
Cultures are multi-faceted, filled with many unique differences that can’t be expressed in an educational resource.
︎︎︎ The information will be organized by categories like: structure, social norms, language, religion, taboos, and misconceptions.


 The nitty gritty of design. 


The system’s visual language

VISUALLY UNIFYING THE PAMPHLET, APP, AND FLASHCARDS




THE POWER OF CONTRAST
Icons and photgraphy create a geometric and organic contrast to humanize the design. The only deliverable that does not include photography is the pamphlet to reduce printing costs.




The Pamphlet (pocket-sized)

FOR WORKERS ENTERING NEW & UNFAMILIAR CULTURES






PAMPHLET SPREADS
An introductory spread precedes the cultural information to keep the content organized (ex: Social Norms sets the stage for clothing, food, hospitality, and mannerisms). 





The App

FOR WORKERS ENTERING NEW & UNFAMILIAR CULTURES



COMMUNITY
As a way to build community, the user has the option to connect with people preparing for similar experiences. These groups can keep each other accountable, track of each other’s progress, and connect with locals. 


EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
Instead of only stating the facts, the user may retain information more easily through experiential challenges that can be done in community.


MID FIDELITY
I originally had planned to only use geometric patterns throughout the app. However, I recieved valuable critique inviting me to integrate photography with people to humanize and contextualize the product. 


USER FLOW
Jolene selects the “Middle East and North Africa” (M.E.N.A.) category to learns about clothing norms. In the second screen, the user has the option to choose a specific region. Photography is used to provide a general preview of the region.



The Flashcards

FOR WORKERS ENTERING NEW & UNFAMILIAR CULTURES


LEARNING STYLES 
No two people are the same. Likewise, learning styles may differ. As a result, the flashcards are another option for users to choose from to learn and retain information on the go. 



 Conclusion + Reflections. 







IMPACT ON USERS
Entering a new culture can be overwhelming. Many experience culture shock. This flexible educational resource (pamphlet, app, and flascards) intends to be like that trusted friend that is present when needed. It intends to teach, build community, and bring long-term retention through experiential learning


VALUE FOR CLIENT
This system can be adopted for various cultures and be part of the W.H.O.’s training programs.


WHAT I LEARNED
Design decisions driven by research is valuable and highly rewarding! My interview gave me much insights that I was not expecting. 
︎︎︎ Understanding cultural awareness is key for international partnerships and experiences.
︎︎︎ Integrating community and experiential learning were key elements that helped interviewees learn and retain knowledge.



WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY
︎︎︎ I would include potential users from the beginning. I started interviewing people after I came up with a prototype.
︎︎︎ Integrate more community-based learning content.
︎︎︎ I would test the products with potential users.


FOR FUTURE ITERATIONS
︎︎︎ I would integrate more community and experiential learning opportunities. These insights came from an interview that was taken late in my design process.
︎︎︎ After learning about interviewing and data coding from a design anthropology class, I would interview more people and keep them involved in my entire process. (As seen in participatory design methodology).


HOW I’D MEASURE SUCCESS
︎︎︎ User acquisition: how many people use app, cards, or pamphlets?
︎︎︎ Engagement: how often do users interact with products?
︎︎︎ Experience survey (for qualitative feedback)


WORK      ABOUT      RESUMÉ       ︎      ︎