OVERVIEW

Mohae is designed as a city-based community platform where Koreans living abroad can communicate with each other. This app provides a safe space for Koreans to connect with similar individuals, share experiences, and form new relationships. Through features like chat, feed, groups, and marketplace, Mohae supports Korean expatriates in obtaining information about their city, sharing interests, and connecting with others.

Responsibility

As a product designer, I oversaw the design aspects of UX/UI, conversion rate, and design system, focusing on identifying overall problems and deriving solutions. I prioritized user experience over profit generation.

Impact

  • Secured over 7000 new subscribers to date.

  • We have been featured in several Vancouver-area media outlets.

  • Invited to conference with the Korean Consulate General

  • Secured over 7000 new subscribers to date.

  • We have been featured in several local area media outlets.

  • Invited to conference with the Korean Consulate General

✔️ Contribution

UX/UI Designer

User Survey

UX Research

User-testing

Design System

UX/UI QA

Wireframe

Web Design

Mobile (IOS/Android)

Accessibility

Tools

Figma

Notion

Storyboard

Team

Engineer

Designer

Marketing

✔️ Why?

Many Koreans, myself included, encountered difficulties accessing vital information due to the complex nature of existing Korean community websites. With over 60,000 Koreans living in Vancouver, Canada, and a constant influx of new immigrants, I made a decision to introduce a new community service. This was to address the challenges faced by the Korean community, which struggles to rely solely on existing resources. Through this initiative, my aim was to facilitate easy and swift access to the necessary information for users, while also fostering interaction and sharing among them.

✔️ Defined Problem

Koreans residing in North America
Encounter difficulties in finding a suitable platform for
communication and information sharing.


Koreans residing in North America
Encounter difficulties in finding a suitable platform for communication and information sharing.


Koreans residing in North America
Encounter difficulties in finding a suitable platform for communication and information sharing.


✔️ Solution

Based on the experiences of overseas Koreans, I've focused on providing a comprehensive online community platform that can address the inconveniences of existing methods. Through this, users can easily and quickly access necessary information such as local news and lifestyle activities. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for interaction with other community members in a safe and anonymous environment.

✔️ Design Outcome

I have enhanced user convenience by providing higher quality and readability compared to traditional Korean community platforms. Additionally, I structured the platform to effectively filter vast amounts of data, making it easy for users to find the information they need. By applying a design system, I ensured consistent design patterns throughout the entire application interface.

As Is

To Be

✔️

UX Priority

Prioritizing user experience, I conducted user experience research and usability tests actively for all feature developments, aiming to provide a differentiated service.

✔️

Design Process

By implementing a design process, I introduced structure to our work and improved visibility for other teams during planned sprints.

✔️

Design system

I developed a design system to ensure consistency and quality by aiding developers and designers in component selection.

✔️

UX Priority

Prioritizing user experience, I conducted user experience research and usability tests actively for all feature developments, aiming to provide a differentiated service.

✔️

Design system

I developed a design system to ensure consistency and quality by aiding developers and designers in component selection.

✔️

Design Process

By implementing a design process, I introduced structure to our work and improved visibility for other teams during planned sprints.

RESEARCH

01. Process

The design process was conducted based on the Double Diamond Theory and Lean UX methodology. The project was structured around key stages: Discovery, Definition, Ideation, and Implementation. The goal was to identify fundamental problems more comprehensively and propose solutions that address them effectively.

02. Background

Mohae started with a team of five, led by two product designers and two developers, focusing solely on user convenience to create a distinct platform with a design environment.

Mohae is designed as a city-based community platform for Koreans living abroad to communicate with each other. This app provides a safe space for Koreans to interact, share experiences, and form new relationships with similar individuals. Through features like chat, feed, groups, and marketplace, Mohae supports Korean expatriates in accessing information about their city, sharing interests, and connecting with others.

03. Quantitative Research

To validate identified issues, the design team conducted surveys across age groups ranging from teenagers to people in their forties. All surveys were conducted online, and participants from older age groups who were uncomfortable with digital devices received guidance from the Mohae design team.

Participant Requirements:

  • Korean individuals aged 18 to 40 residing in Vancouver, Canada.

  • Newly arrived immigrants to Vancouver within the past year.

  • Individuals who struggle with communication in English and face difficulties communicating with locals.

Survey Method:

  • Created using Google Form with 10 quantitative questions.

  • Survey link shared with 20 people, including acquaintances.

  • Survey conducted online without restrictions on time, location, or position.

04. Qualitative Research

The process began with the question "How might we" and proceeded through collaboration with current designers and developers. Given the nature of the service, feedback from Koreans was crucial, so all participants were Korean.

Workshop from Figma Jam

This process started with "How might we" (HMW) questions, breaking down and listing the components of each HMW, then brainstorming and iterating solutions for each one.

05. Competitive Analysis

In the early stages of the project, we focused on two major Korean communities in Vancouver. This area was chosen because it's where most activities are concentrated. My goal as a designer was to identify challenges within this community and transform them into new opportunities.

06. Precedents Research

To explore all resources similar to Moahe's business model, each team member spent over 20 minutes using each platform, documenting their strengths and weaknesses for insights to benchmark. This process allowed us to filter out roughly fewer than 10 competing companies.

07. Define Problem

Koreans residing in North America
Encounter difficulties in finding a suitable platform for
communication and information sharing.


Koreans residing in North America
Encounter difficulties in finding a suitable platform for communication and information sharing.


Koreans residing in North America
Encounter difficulties in finding a suitable platform for communication and information sharing.


IDEATE

01. Hypothesis

How might we foster a safe and healthy online community culture where users can easily and quickly share the information they need?

How might we foster a safe and healthy online community culture where users can easily and quickly share the information they need?

Provide a seamless environment for information sharing and interaction among Koreans residing in Vancouver, we are establishing a secure anonymous online community platform. Through this, we aim to enhance the dynamism and vitality of the Korean community, thereby fostering its economic development.

02. Design Opportunity

Based on the three fundamental problems identified during the research process, Team Mohae contemplated design opportunities. Prioritizing user convenience, we adopted a design approach to propose solutions that address the discomfort experienced on the existing platform.

PROTOTYPE & TEST

Solution 01

Anonymous System

Anonymous System

Anonymous System

The first solution is an anonymous system. Due to the rapid spread of rumors in the Korean community, the grievances of locals have a significant negative impact on the community culture. Many users felt reluctant to participate and express genuine opinions. To address this issue, I introduced a posting mode where all account information is displayed anonymously.

As seen in the example, within the same feed, there are two different modes of posting that users can choose from when creating a post: "Normal Mode" and "Anonymous Mode." Users can decide the mode for each post themselves. The commenting environment also changes accordingly based on the mode of the post. In Anonymous Mode, users' names are not displayed, but identification codes are assigned to track users' activities if necessary.

Solution 02

Structured Data (Meta Data)

Structured Data (Meta Data)

Structured Data (Meta Data)

The second solution is data structuring. The biggest issue with existing community platforms is the unstructured data, making it difficult for users to find the information they need. To address this issue, Mohae categorizes data as much as possible through menus, bottom menus, filters, and visualizations to make it easy to understand.

Nuge Effect

Categorized Data

While users navigate the main feed, they occasionally encounter an introduction section for features like the market or coupon functions. This is the Nudge Effect used to introduce Mohae's services to users.

Categorized data can be most accurately viewed on the community page. On this page, users can access six different information pages generated based on the most sought-after information by local users. Since it's not feasible to display a vast amount of data on one page, thumbnail visualizations in a brief format are provided on the main community page, allowing users to preview the available information.

The menu feature in the Mohae platform helps users easily access the pages they want. Most menu features are accessible from every page.

Solution 03

Intuitive Design

Intuitive Design

Intuitive Design

As the third solution, I emphasized visual clarity and ease of use for intuitive user experience. Firstly, we adopted a design that minimizes the learning curve by considering familiar elements from the user's digital experience (Mental-modelling). Additionally, we maximized efficiency by providing filtering functionality to enable users to quickly find the information they need through search. Furthermore, in addition to existing interactions like recording and voice messaging, we enhanced the user experience by adding various communication methods to widgets, allowing users to easily access them whenever needed.

Intuitive user experience

The feed is a space where users can organically discover new content through infinite scrolling. With subtle prompts, users can explore updated tabs within the platform without having to check each individual tab.

User-centric features

Utilizing widgets for information delivery helps users efficiently find a variety of information while also allowing them to perform detailed tasks such as blocking unwanted information or communication in advance.

Information hierarchy & filtering

The categories in the community section help users discover specific information. Additionally, filters assist them in finding data related to their interests more effectively.

Intuitive user experience

The feed is a space where users can organically discover new content through infinite scrolling. With subtle prompts, users can explore updated tabs within the platform without having to check each individual tab.

Information hierarchy & filtering

The categories in the community section help users discover specific information. Additionally, filters assist them in finding data related to their interests more effectively.

Users can interact with each other using various types of widgets, enabling them to share images, vote, record voice messages, engage in one-on-one messaging, and interact with other users beyond just text.

Interactions beyond text

User-centric features

Utilizing widgets for information delivery helps users efficiently find a variety of information while also allowing them to perform detailed tasks such as blocking unwanted information or communication in advance.

Interactions beyond text

Users can interact with each other using various types of widgets, enabling them to share images, vote, record voice messages, engage in one-on-one messaging, and interact with other users beyond just text.

Consideration of accessibility

Mohae strived to offer an inclusive design to its users. As a service provider, it aimed to provide a more comprehensive experience and, considering its business model of fostering a safe and healthy space for Korean community communication, it offered a variety of color combinations sensitive to color-conscious users without significantly altering the structure and design.

Intuitive user experience

The feed is a space where users can organically discover new content through infinite scrolling. With subtle prompts, users can explore updated tabs within the platform without having to check each individual tab.

Information hierarchy & filtering

The categories in the community section help users discover specific information. Additionally, filters assist them in finding data related to their interests more effectively.

Interactions beyond text

Users can interact with each other using various types of widgets, enabling them to share images, vote, record voice messages, engage in one-on-one messaging, and interact with other users beyond just text.

User-centric features

Utilizing widgets for information delivery helps users efficiently find a variety of information while also allowing them to perform detailed tasks such as blocking unwanted information or communication in advance.

02. MVP Design

After numerous design iteration cycles, we were able to hand over the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) design to the developers, which included internal evaluations and sharing with fellow designers. Throughout the entire process, we maintained thorough communication, ensuring that we were fully aware of the decisions we made.

03. QA

The most active communication process between me and the developers occurred during the development handoff and QA stages. After development was completed, I prepared for QA testing of the entire application MVP using documented reference materials. I wrote all test cases and user stories, and verified the experience on iOS and Android devices to ensure there were no issues or errors.

04. Beta Launch

We conducted a successful beta launch over a two-week period with 24 users. During this time, we fine-tuned the user experience and fixed bugs. Following this, we successfully launched on the app store and maintained daily communication with users using the feedback feature. Two months after the launch, we conducted comprehensive user satisfaction and feedback surveys to validate the initial objectives, and the feedback we received was mostly positive!

FINAL DESIGN

REFLECTION

01. Moving Forward

The number of users on Mohae continues to grow, and Team Mohae, including myself, will strive to maintain a higher quality of service and innovative, interactive design. Additionally, we will continuously introduce and test new features to further develop the platform. Recently, we have discussed within the team the direction of providing Mohae services in the web environment.

02. Key Takeaways

Structure and Process

Establishing a strategic process and structure from the outset is highly efficient, but within the Mohae team, there wasn't much time to follow all formal procedures as team members needed to quickly design and develop the app. Therefore, we focused on communication and collaboration, addressing small issues or concerns together and promptly adopting solutions. It's important that this approach isn't just temporary but evolves into a method we can consistently rely on in the future.

Alignment of Vision

Team members must share the same vision and discuss it regularly. When the vision is unclear, especially with insufficient communication among co-founders, it can lead to misunderstanding and accumulation of misconceptions. One of the strengths of the Mohae team is the continuous dialogue between co-founders and team members, providing regular updates on their perspectives.

Empathy and Understanding (Team)

Each team member experiences different levels of stress, and aside from the Mohae project, they have their own jobs and families. The ability to empathize and understand each other's situations has played a crucial role in keeping the team strong. Previously, there was a tendency to abandon good ideas easily after a promising start. However, working with developers has taught me to have more patience and resilience to persist with ideas and keep going.

Copyright © 2024 Jaewan Byun All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2024 Jaewan Byun

All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2024 Jaewan Byun. All rights reserved.