My research report was based around the idea of enhancing the social relationships of university students with international backgrounds through the events organised outside of university led functions. Having come from an international background myself, I personally find it challenging to often relate to people in some aspects, because I see myself affected by two very different cultures that change the way I think and act. For that, I sometimes find it challenging to connect to people, and people find it challenging to connect to me. And other times, it is just that I miss the sense of familiarity that I gain through spending time with people who share the same or similar background culture as I.
For that, I decided to conduct a research, mainly to see if people actually felt the similar way as I did. And more often than not, through semi-structured interviews, my results were looking positive. It was time for me to develop my brief further and seek a better aim. So I looked into my data. Through my insights, I have gathered two key issues that my users often faced (two key issues that I personally experienced myself as well):
- People with international heredity often rely on internet and social media to connect with their homeland and often find it not suffice they way they only share so limited information, and most of the time, that information given is not necessarily the kind of intimacy the user is looking for.
- People with international heredity often situate themselves into university led cultural societies to connect with people who seek the sense of familiarity with people who share the same culture. However after exposing themselves into this cultural group for a while, they seek more, and wish to create a social group who will be available through uni led events but would remain to be in the users’ social network to socialise outside of these uni events as well.
Upon finding these insights, I came up with two basic concepts: both somewhat a social network product, catering for the needs of my users.
In my first concept, I take on the issue of the lack of information today’s social media networks deliver. In the proposed product, the issue of time difference, a singular medium to find multiple news about the homeland and deliver multiple videos and schedule the sending time to be delivered to those within the time frame that both the user and the user’s relation who lives in overseas share.
In the second concept, the issue of finding a social circle outside of uni with those who share the same culture is tackled. Like tinder, the location algorithm as well as the suggestion list allows the user to see people from the cultural society they belong to, even the ones that are from different universities than the one the user attends.