The app that helps you
to move abroad

The app that helps you
to move abroad

Project Overview

ExpatKit is a mobile app for people moving abroad. Aside from offering tailored step-by-step relocation guides, this app also provides an opportunity to address a question directly to one of many migration experts.

My Role

I was the sole UI/UX designer on the project responsible for user research, wireframing, UI & Visual Design, prototyping, and usability testing.

Tools used

What's the problem?

The current global estimate is that there were around 281 million international expatriates in the world in 2020, which equates to 3.6% of the global population. Imagine the number of people that went through many stressful processes – collecting documents, obtaining a visa, finding a new home and moving abroad.

Is there a solution?

Well yes, but actually no. The existing solutions are mainly focused on connecting expats with each other and cannot be a reliable source of knowledge since they usually contain only broad and ambiguous information about other countries (and a lot of annoying ads! 😡).

The main question

How might we relieve the stress that people feel when they move abroad and settle in a new country?

The solution

An app that will help people to navigate through one of life’s most stressful events – moving abroad.

You relocate.

We make it easy.

ExpatKit is not another travel app. ExpatKit is not just a country guide. ExpatKit is a daily companion that helps people to make relocation less stressful.

You always know

what's next

ExpatKit allows you to monitor your progress through the entire relocation process and complete all the tasks necessary to get you to your new life abroad.

You can ask

us anything

ExpatKit makes expert advice available to you 24/7. We match you with the right expert for your case in no time.



Here is the interactive prototype to see ExpatKit app in action.

The process

How did I end up with this idea?

I just relocated to the Netherlands myself and faced all the hardships and stress of moving abroad.


I started by studying what expats tell about their experience during the relocation.

To better understand the problem, I looked through a number of expat articles, posts, vlogs, and groups on social media discussing moving to other countries.

User interviews

To deepen my understanding of the problem, I conducted a round of user interviews with expats from different countries.

6 people


2 weeks

of interviews

3+ hours

of conversations

User interviews

“I have to resolve lots of everyday issues after moving abroad (documents, visa, accommodation)”

“I need a tool for planning my relocation and all the required steps”

“I struggled a lot with trying to figure out how to get to things that local people take for granted, like how do I go to the doctor or such”

“I wish to have one source of information to help me navigate through all the paperwork and daily affairs in a new country”


Who am I designing this product for?

Keeping the question in mind, I synthesized my research by creating an affinity map using all the insights, quotes and observations from user interviews. After organizing all the data, I made an empathy map that helped me to turn messy and confusing pieces of user research data into actionable insights and revealed the key needs of my users.

Empathy map


Getting a visa and preparing all the necessary documents is a very stressful process.

At first, new country makes you feel very lonely, and it is difficult to find local friends.


The relocation process is less stressful with the support of others expats or locals.

They gained valuable experience of settling in a new country.

User personas

Who my users really are?

The empathy map showed that I have two distinctive types of users, so I created user personas to accurately represent all user groups. Personas also helped me to identify goals to be met in order to ensure great user experience.

Expat moved overseas

Student abroad


What do my users want to accomplish?

User research revealed the main struggles my users face during the relocation – everyday issues and emotional problems such as loneliness and homesickness. Since it is impossible to solve all problems at once I decided to focus on ultimate wants and needs of the users to understand which problems should be prioritized.

Jobs to Be Done

I used Jobs to Be Done framework to highlight the most important things users try to accomplish during their relocation to another country.

Main job

Settle in and live comfortably in a new country

Related jobs

Find a place to live

Solve all routine issues

Discover new places and experiences


Sooooo... What’s next?

The JTBD framework helped me in realizing that the most important thing for expats to accomplish upon relocation is to settle in a new country. That is why I decided to focus on daily problems and challenges expats meet rather than on emotional issues.

Building the solution

I ideated several possible solutions, and chose the idea that was the most feasible, viable, and desirable.

I decided to start designing an app that will help expats to relocate with step-by-step guides and expert support. I prepared user stories and prioritized them for my MVP to include only essential features for critical tasks.

User flow

To understand how users will interact with my app and what steps they need to take to complete a task, I created a user flow showing the main red route of my app. User flow helped me to define information architecture of the app and what screens I need to sketch first.


This is where the fun begins.

After I decided on the app’s features, red routes, and information architecture, it was time for my favorite part – creating the sketches, wireframes, and high-fidelity screens to finally visualize my ideas and turn them into interactive prototypes.


I used Jobs to Be Done framework to highlight the most important things users try to accomplish during their relocation to another country.

Interacting with guides

Finding an expert


Wireframes were helpful with identifying and making critical design decisions. At that point, I decided how the main screens will look in real life.

Working with guides

I elaborated on this red route and chose to put user’s dashboard as home page so users could quickly assess the progress of their relocation as they log in to the app. That was the decision that determined the overall design of the app.

Finding an expert

I worked out the mechanics of matching users with experts, and visualized the key screens on this red route. Although the design was slightly changed during the course of work, the mechanics of matching barely changed and eventually made it to the final prototype.


Let’s get into details.

After the general look of the app was determined, it was time to prepare high-fidelity screens. But before that, I created a style guide to keep my designs consistent and sharp.

Color palette

Bright and vibrant color palette was chosen to convey a sense of effortlessness and smoothness.


I decided to use iOS standard fonts because of their flexibility and legibility.

Decorative elements

To give the app a unique look and feel, and to make design more engaging, I created a set of distinctive illustrations.

Declined Designs

I tested and rejected quite a few designs along the way.

What’s wrong:

The step card takes too much space and it’s hard to understand which step of the process the user is on.

What’s wrong:

This is better, but still only two steps shown on the screen - that’s not enough to quickly understand the progress.

What’s wrong:

The text box looks inconsistent with the overall design of the app. Expert’s cards look undone.

What’s wrong:

The choice of color makes the design too bland and sterile.

High-fidelity screens 1.0.

At last, an interim version of screens and an interactive prototype in Figma were ready for user testing.


Test, iterate and test again.

It was time to start user testing. I selected five expats who had never seen my app before and asked them to use my interactive prototype (and complete a couple of tasks along the way).


Long story short: there were some issues with my designs.

Long story short: there were some issues with my designs.

Issue #1

The home page and steps articles contain lots of information and are hard to understand.

What’s wrong:

Too much information on the screen. Users want to check their progress right away.

How I fixed it:

I completely redesigned the home screen to make it more clear and engaging. I decided to move the Saved Items from the screen to the hamburger menu.

Issue #2

The onboarding process not effective enough. None of the users paid enough attention to the information in the onboarding process, which led to a misunderstanding of how the app works.

What’s wrong:

Users do not scroll the carousel to find out how the app works.

How I fixed it:

I replaced the carousel with several consecutive onboarding screens that the user can skip if needed.

Issue #3

Users cannot select a question category when submitting a question to an expert. Users expect that after they write a question they will be able to select a question category and click the “Submit” button.

What’s wrong:

After composing a question users can’t go back on the Experts screen to chose a question’s category.

How I fixed it:

I redesigned the screen so that after composing a question users can select a question category and review their question before submitting.

Final designs

Updated prototype and second round of user testing

After fixing key design issues, I updated the prototype and conducted a second round of user tests. To do so, I chose five expats, who had not seen the previous version of the app, and asked them to perform the same tasks as before. The second round of testing confirmed the main issues were resolved, though there were new areas of improvement.


What I learned from this project?

I learned to make quick design decisions. Should I keep this feature or remove it? Should I choose this color or that one? During the course of work, I had to constantly make decisions, and learning more about my users through the user research helped me in making those decisions since I knew which design option would bring better user experience. Complex design decisions are a little bit easier when you keep users in mind.

Made by me with lots of ☕️ and Framer.

Made by me with lots of ☕️ and Framer.

Made by me with lots of ☕️ and Framer.