Newbees is a startup that connects refugees in the Netherlands to volunteer work, internships or jobs. I got the chance to be a part of the team that worked on improving the sign up, login and profiles for the refugees so that they would be able to present themselves to possible employers on the platform, something the startup was doing by hand now. We tried to create a form that would feel more like a friendly conversation than a cold distant form.
Many of the refugees that sign up don’t speak the language yet, or don’t speak it very well which obviously is quite a challenge when you want someone to fill in information. I created an illustration for every important step in the process that would communicate what we were asking them about to overcome some of this hurdle. We made many design decisions in the UI to make it as fail-proof as we could, so that any finished profile would contain enough relevant information to continue and match with a possible employer. While also providing options for the newbees to give some personal information to make a better match.
Lastly, we offered the form in several languages, including Arabic. This provided another challenge, since in Arabic speaking regions, many visual cues are different from Western cues. Timelines go right to left instead of left to right, dropdowns icons are usually placed on the left rather than the right and so on. Many icons are also flipped horizontally, though not all. I payed very close attention to this when designing the Arabic UI and with the help of some of the refugees we managed it very well. I loved working on this and delving into the ux differences between the way we present visual information and the way Arabic language regions do. It was fascinating! And meeting the refugees and working with them was a real treat too.