Help First-Gen Rise and Shine

This project was for my Google UX Certificate. The objective of the course was to prepare us with readiness for UX design jobs. I completed the course, and learned an incredible amount of user design knowledge and strategy. The project is also inspired by my background as a non-US citizen. Having chances meeting many first-gen immigrants, I empathize a lot with the difficulties they suffer.

Tools used: Illustrator, Photoshop, XD, pen and paper

My role: UX researcher and designer
The project goal was to design a product to help first-generation immigrants to start new careers.
What is RiseGen?
RiseGen is a mobile application that allows users to enhance their employment competitiveness, find employment, and connect with other first-gen immigrants.
Current product offerings

Career Center

Career centers are places people go for career assistance and advice. They will communicate with people and help them find something to start working with.

Job Searching Websites

Job searching websites are currently a more prevalent and efficient way to search. There is a variety of websites offering similar functions.

Career Center

Getting an appointment in the career centers might be challenging, and communicating effectively in English can be intimidating to some first-gen immigrants.

Job Searching Websites

These websites usually require strong technology literacy; in other words, they can be complicated to maneuver since their functions are so rich. For many first-gen immigrants, it can be tricky.


First-gen immigrants wish to start a more competitive and fulfilling career, pursuing a better life.
By utilizing resources and a first-gen immigrant network, RiseGen helps them increase their career readiness as well as build a community.


Meet Mamu, a first-gen immigrant. His English is not very good, and he does not have lots of professional training as well. He was waiting tables before, but he wants to start a new career since the cost for the whole family has been increasing a lot. He wants to provide his family with a better life.


Languages are critical issues for immigrants. Many immigrants show their uncomfortableness using English and their eagerness to improve. Hence, the application needs to support various languages and make language learning a major function.

Invisible barriers

Many invisible barriers exist for first-gen immigrants to land jobs, such as technology literacy, education, and cultural differences.

User journey map

Goal: Have a career consulting in the job center Make appointments can be hard due to high demands and COVID


Comparing Career Center, Indeed, LinkedIn, and Google to identify the failures as well as successes
Career CenterDirect Competitor
Face-to-face meetings, but the process can be low-efficient.


Director Competitor
Great job searching site. Straightforward homepage.


Director Competitor
Great networking website but can be intimidating for immigrants.


Indirector Competitor
The information is a lot but it is sometimes hard to select useful ones.


Header + Body + Footer Sketched the major user flow: booking a workshop for career development

Low-fi prototype

Affinity mapping & insights

  1. Based on the theme that: users might want to cancel their appointment, an insight is: to provide an action center where users could act their appointment.
  2. Based on the theme that: users' intimidation with the word "class," an insight is: to replace "class" with "workshop" and use inclusive language.
  3. Based on the theme that: users need some critical features of the class at first, an insight is: to add the time, location, and price of the course to the search result page.
  4. Based on the theme that: users need search suggestions, an insight is: to offer some research keywords for users to choose.
High-fi -> Low-fi

High-fi prototype

Several changes are made based on user research.
userflow showcase
XD design review

Product solution
Hub for careerRiseGen is designed to become a hub for career enhancement. Workshops are where people find accessible and affordable career-related workshops. The job search center offers an easy-to-navigate search engine for first-gen immigrants. The language center is designed to help people find local language learning institutes or centers. Network is where people connect and succeed together.
Easy bookingIt is so easy to find a workshop that will be helpful and to book it seamlessly through the app. You can also share the workshop or invite your connections to go together!
Network for first-gen Network can be intimidating, but not here. It is a safe place for first-gen immigrants to know, bond, and succeed togther.
Languages RiseGen will support as many languages as possible to empower more immigrants.
This app can be handy for first-gen immigrants if developed. I shared this app with a Chinese restaurant chef I know. He was excited but sad since he could not have something like this years ago.
What I learned
For many immigrants, it is more challenging to know what they should or could do. Career consulting is the cornerstone for job searching. The app should incorporate this function as well. Furthermore, providing multi-language does not mean simply translate everything.
Junru Ruan © 2022  ︎