Application Main Features/Navigation:
Circles: A feature that allows users to join groups according to their interests, school majors, languages, cultures, backgrounds ethnicity, etc.
Under Circles are the Discussions and Events features that give users multiple ways to communicate with other circle members either through their mobile devices, or physically through events and meet-ups.
Messaging: This feature allows for users to chat and directly message friends or language partners from around the world. The messaging feature allows for users to automatically and conveniently translate, correct, look-up, and define words and phrases in different languages without leaving the application.
Phrase Book: The phrase book allows for users to customize their language learning experience. All phrases, sentences, and words that the user favorites are recorded in the phrase book. The user can choose which phrases they want to save, practice, and use for reference for future conversations and interactions.
Settings: This feature includes features such as profile, profile settings, account settings, language settings etc. With a profile users can introduce themselves to other pera pera app users by including a short bio, and sharing their school, major, languages, and background.
For the persona Experience, we wanted to capture the experience of a student who came to America to study abroad. The student is not so great at English and has difficulty understanding lectures in her/his classes, reading homework assignments, writing papers, and reaching out to other students.
The student tries to learn and study english on his/her own but realizes that studying a language without practicing it with real people does not help very much. This is when the student finds the Pera pera application on his/her smartphone application store. The pera pera app allows for the user to use their location, interests, and more to look and join “circles” where people who have things in common can talk about topics they find interesting through chats, or at phsical meet-ups through the events feature. After joining circles, participating in discussions, and finding language partners or friends, the international student feels more confident about his/her ability to use the language, makes friends, and becomes more integrated into a different culture through it’s language.
For the research phase of project three we met together as a group and discussed different underserved demographics and groups of people that we could possible help with graphic design.
At first we had ideas such as garbage men, girls, children with disabilities, homeless people, and more. Our brainstorming eventually led to illegal immigrants, then immigrants (like me and my group member, Patricks’ parents), and then eventually was narrowed down to international students who have difficulty understanding languages in the country they are studying in.
They are an underserved demographic because many people do not realize that international students, or students who recently immigrated to a new country have a lot of difficulties in their studies because they do not understand the language well. At the time I was researching international students, some of my friends near me (who are not international students, but moved to America a few years ago) was having a lot of troubles with her studies because she did not understand English well. Seeing her and other friends having difficulty with English and studying in America made me more passionate about finding a way to help the demographic.
After much thinking, we as a group, and with guidance from our professor, finally decided on making a mobile application that could connect international students with others while helping them learn and practice their languages. This application could have the potential of helping international students reach out, practice writing, speaking, and communicating in their languages, and provide them with a circle of friends/colleagues that they could approach for help.