DTTPPM Portfolio

HomeAbroad App

Curbing Loneliness Among Immigrants, Abroad Feels more homely.


Product Experience

Problem Space 

Problem Statement  

How might we curb the feeling of loneliness and depression among adult immigrants so that they can relive their home country culture, adapt better in their new country, and have a better quality of life?

Problem Background  

Studies show that many newcomers to Canada experience disruption to their social networks during migration and encounter barriers establishing new relationships and connections, leaving them vulnerable to social and emotional loneliness. Similar studies from different parts of the world show the same trend in the rise of immigrant loneliness and how this affects the people involved. 

HomeAbroad will be used by adult aged immigrants from any country. This community building app aims to address the pressing problem of loneliness and depression in Immigrants caused by leaving their communities and social life in their home country.

The problem needs to be addressed as soon as possible in order to help immigrants overcome loneliness. It will also help them settle into their new country better while having a feeling of the community they are used to back home which will positively impact their productivity, mental, emotional well being and general quality of life.

Research Insights

User Pain Points

Using a survey, we identified potential users of the app (immigrants) and got 22 responses and 2 user interviews. We got some of these user pain points:

  1. As an immigrant, I would like to have a mentor assigned to me to help me in my journey of integrating to Canada, like a volunteer mentor just willing to be there for others along the way.
  2. As an immigrant, I would like to see where the events that are affiliated to my cultural background are happening in advance so I can prepare to go…this way, I can meet even more people from where I am from and have a feeling of home.
  3. As an immigrant, I want to be able to start conversations with other immigrants near my location.
  4. As an immigrant, sometimes even create casual hangouts to meet up with and get to know them in person.
  5. As an immigrant, I would love to see immigrants who have been successful sharing their success stories with their fellow immigrants who have built meaningful connections from the app to inspire and motivate others to do the same.

Supporting Data

While conducting our own user research, 70% of immigrants said they feel the pangs of loneliness in their new country, 80% of immigrants say they feel very excited and happy when they meet and create real connections with fellow immigrants from their similar background. 72% of immigrants say that connecting with fellow immigrants from their home country helps them settle in better into their new country. 75% of immigrants say that they do not know where or how to connect to fellow immigrants from their home country and need resources to help find them or bring them together, 80% of immigrants said they do not know where to find events affiliated to their home countries to attend in order to meet other immigrants.


Our Preliminary user research validates this problem among adult aged immigrants. The problem now remains that there has been no effective solution that encourages fellow immigrants to connect in a relatable way in order to create real relationships with fellow immigrants from similar backgrounds to solve the problem of loneliness among immigrants.

Landing on the Solution

Based on our target users’ pain points, for the MVP, we knew we wanted to work on the following features

  • Algorithm matching for the “live chat now” feature with various filter options to connect immigrants with similar background and interests.
  • Voice and Video conferencing feature.
  • Hangout groups/ events tab for organising in-person hangouts.
  • Events tab featuring icebreaker welcoming events for new immigrants, other culturally affiliated events
  • Personal volunteer mentors tab (From 5-10 years of residence in the new country) to help mentor new immigrants trying to navigate life in canada.
  • Cultural exchange forums, Professional forums.
  • Local immigrant business recommendations tab.
  • Success stories section.
  • Reward points system for active participation at hang out events.

User Experience of the App

Step 1: Download and Install

  • User discovers HomeAbroad on their preferred app store and downloads the app.
  • After installation, the user opens the app.

Step 2: Account Creation And Onboarding 

  • User is prompted to create an account or log in.
  • During the onboarding process, the app asks for some demographic information such as age, country of origin, current country of residence, profession (If employed), and selects a number of interests based on their preferences.

Step 3: Navigate to the Homepage 

  • On the homepage, algorithm suggests people that matches your location and interests to reach out to via text, call or video
  • On the homepage, Select Live text, voice or video chat and start connecting with people online willing to chat.
  • Browse through the events tab to view events to attend
  • Navigate to create event if you want to bring people together
  • Navigate to the mentor tab if you need to reach out to a mentor to support through you through the immigrant journey
  • Navigate to the groups tab to see various groups and forums that might interest you.
  • Navigate to success stories at the bottom of the homepage to be encouraged by immigrants who have found success in the country through HomeAbroad

Future Steps

Our user research revealed that individuals are more inclined to engage in hangouts regularly if a reward system is in place, offering points that can be redeemed—a feature we envision for future versions. Additionally, users expressed the desire for a feature listing immigrant businesses and suggesting them to nearby users. As we move forward, our focus will be on iterating and implementing more features based on user feedback, ensuring the platform continually evolves to better serve the needs of our end users.



Product Manager Learnings:

Mary Eweama

Participating in Co.Lab has proven to be an incredibly immersive and valuable experience, serving as a pivotal launchpad for my product management career. The hands-on experience and insightful mentorship feedback I've received have been integral to my learning journey. I wholeheartedly recommend Co.Lab to anyone traversing a similar path. My commitment to continuous learning and development remains unwavering as I progress further in my career.

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Developer Learnings:

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