A mobile application to help international migrants settle in their new environment.


Product Experience

Problem Space 

Problem Statement  

How might we make a more accessible experience for International migrants to find community and familiar products/services in their new location so that they spend less time searching for the right information and do not have negative emotions?

Problem Background  

This problem space research stemmed from my experience adapting to a new normal as an international migrant in the United States.

According to the International Organization for Migration, as of 2020, an estimated 3.6% (281 million) of the world's population lived outside the country where they were born. The United States has more international migrants than any other country in the world with 51 million migrants, while Europe and Asia regions host around 87 and 86 million international migrants respectively; representing 61% of the global international migrants stock.

When immigrants arrive in a new country, it takes some time to settle down, figure out the new system, and find products/services that they are familiar with. All of these can be overwhelming as change is never easy, especially in an unfamiliar environment. People have to do extensive research using methodologies like internet searches, social media, and recommendations to get answers to questions/doubts they have.

According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, newly arrived migrants appear to be susceptible to developing depression, underlying the gap in existing social and cultural supports for recent migrants.

Research Insights

User Pain Points

Using one-on-one interviews and online surveys (google form) for the research, feedback was collected from persons who recently migrated to a new country. The questions were centered on migrants’ experiences when they arrived and factors that helped them settle in the new environment.

Supporting Data

The result of the user research helped to confirm the hypothesis that international migrants took longer to adapt to the new environment without the right community and resources.

In the research, 100% of the research participants stated that a community was essential to help them settle in the new environment. The community consisted of people who had shared interests or motivations, making it easier to connect with them. According to a recent migrant, “She chose her apartment because other students from her country recommended and also lived in the same apartment. Having people around was important to settling in”  

Also, the research highlighted that 71% of the research participants experienced challenges finding food items or restaurants that sell food that they were familiar with in their home country. A recent migrant also stated, “Find out where to get my food was great”.

Overall, some of the words the research participants used to describe their experiences moving to a new country include “Jarring”, “Challenging”, “Daunting”, “Cultural shift


The preliminary user research validated that there are gaps in the social and cultural support for international migrants in the new environment. In addition, research participants stated they leverage multiple resources such as internet searches, referrals, and group chats to discover and find community and/or resources that they need to settle in the new environment

Landing on the Solution

Based on the target users’ pain points, it was identified that though international migrants might plan for their move, they still experience emotional shock when they move to the new environment. The proposed solution aims to easily connect people with shared interests, backgrounds, and stories so that they can build meaningful relationships and a community that serves as a resource for settling into the new environment and ensuring their psychological well-being.

Explanation of Solution

Konnect makes it easy to build a community by leveraging users’ current location and interest to recommend relevant content and resources, and other international migrants to help them settle in their new environment.

Future Steps

In the future, an additional problem to address is to provide a better job search experience for international migrants. Searching for a job using current job boards such as LinkedIn and Indeed is a tedious task for international migrants who have to go through each job description to check if the job sponsors internationals. I plan to do more research on the job search experience as getting a job is fundamental to the survival of international migrants in the new country



Product Manager Learnings:

Ade Babatope

Co.Lab was a very interesting experience for me because;

  • As a Product Manager, I learned to dig deep into the problem without thinking about the solution. As a PM, it is easy to slip into forming a solution in our head while understanding the problem. Like the story of NASA which spent millions of dollars to develop a pen that worked in zero gravity, while the Russian space team simply used a pencil to write in space, it is imperative to understand the problem (problem space) before diving into solutions (solution space)
  • My second learning is to remain customer-focused. Customers typically hire a product to perform a job because it solves a problem they are experiencing. If the product does not provide value/perform the job, then customers will not use the product. So, throughout my research, I kept iterating my scope and goals as I got more information from potential users
  • Finally, I realized the value of building in public. Though it was initially daunting for me to publish my work and progress in public, the feedback and benefits I gained from the exercise have helped reshape my mind towards building in public. Going forward, I intend to continually publish my work, achievements, and even learnings to build my brand, gain credibility, and meet people with similar interests.

Designer Learnings:

Developer Learnings:

Developers Learnings:


Full Team Learning