An information exchange platform that helps people learn about a city from the local’s perspective.

Solo project
Travel - App Design

12 weeks

Feature Prioritization
Usability testing

01 User Interviews

 Exploratory Interviews 

Graduating from school is a milestone where students would have the chance to live somewhere new. According to a survey conducted by the College Pulse, among 1,500 undergraduates, about 4 in 10 students attending college both in the state (37%) and out of state (42%) say they would take a job and move to a new state after graduation if given the choice.

To better understand the why and how people decide to move to a new place. I interviewed six young adults, aged 22-26, who have had experience moving away from home after graduating from college, and chose to live in major cities.

 Meta Insights 

When learning about a new city...
  • People already have a general idea about the city in mind.
  • 67% of the people started by doing a web search, then diving deeper and doing more serious research through other sources.
  • 83% of the people did not visit the cities in person.
  • 100% of the people prefer talking to family and friends who had experience living in those cities and believe the information they provide was more valuable.
  • The most common topics people care about are housing, safety, transportation, and cost of living.

People experience frustration when doing this research because...

  • They are overwhelmed by the amount of information online, it is scattered on various sites and makes it hard to revisit.
  • It is difficult to know if the information online was up to date, so they spend a lot of time validating the information by doing more research.

 How Might We

To ease these frustrations from people, I need to think about...

How might we collect authentic information about a city from a distance?
How might we organize information across topics, and make it easier for people to gather the findings?
How might we connect people with locals to help them learn about the most up-to-date information?

02 Ideation & Testing

With the help of my classmates, I came up with the ideas below.

 Reviews & Map 

The first idea was similar to Google Maps, the user can tap on a neighborhood on the map, see the contents posted by verified local people who live in the area, and learn the most up-to-date information.
Users liked the idea of seeing content from exclusively local people, but are hoping for something different from Google Maps.

 Match & Chat 

The second idea focuses on connecting the user with locals. The user will fill out a preference quiz, and the algorithm will match them to a local person who has the relevant background. Then the user will be able to open a chatroom and start chatting with them. There will also be community chats hosted by locals in different neighborhoods if the user is interested in expanding the network.
Users were interested in the algorithm match but were worried about getting scammed through direct messages and group chats. Some users thought it would be hard to keep track of all the messages in the chats.

03 Features

Based on the feedback I got from the users by showing them the low-fi prototypes, I start to prioritize the features. I used the MoSCoW prioritization to put the feature ideas into four categories.

User Flow 1.0

From here, I started to think about where should the features live in the flow,
and mapped out the user flow accordingly.

Main Features

I build out the mid-fi screens for the main features and used the system map 
with the prototype screens to collect feedback from users.

04 Iteration

 Testing the User Flow 

I tested the user flow with five people who are looking for a city to relocate to and see what kinds of decisions they would make throughout this process. During this testing, I learned that the flow is over complicated, user would like to start viewing the local’s posts sooner before they need to sign up for an account.

Users were also curious about the incentives for locals to make a post about their cities. For the locals, the incentive is mainly around sharing unmodified and truthful information with people who are considering moving to the city. On this platform, the locals can communicate their honest opinions, and give out advice to help people avoid making mistakes. The locals can also build up a community on Roami to share the latest news in the city with other locals. Therefore the users can decide to become local users once they settle down in the new city.

User Flow 2.0
Including a potential user flow for the local users.

User Journey

Wireframes for the user flow 2.0

 Onboarding UX 

The shake-shake feature allows users to explore a random city recommended by the algorithm. Users can set up a preference for more personalized recommendations.

This onboarding experience differentiates Roami from other travel products, users can start discovering a city without the interruption of the sign-up screen.

05 Final Solutions


Fill out the preference form
If users are interested in personalized city recommendations, they can provide their preferences to us by filling out this form.

 Topic Selection 

Select a topic

Once the user landed in a city, they can start learning about the city by selecting a general topic from the list. The user can also search for a specific topic from the search bar at the bottom of the page.

 Local Posts 

Contents posted by locals

After the user selects a topic, they can see the contents posted by locals in the city. Details will show up when they click on a posts.


Sign up to do more

After signing up, the user can give a thumbs up or comment on a post to give feedback to the locals. They can also follow the locals if they want more content.

 Compare Cities 

Compare the pros and cons

The user can select up to three cities to learn the pros and cons of each city. There are eight subjects for comparison.


Save contents for future reference

On the saved page, users can go back to the helpful posts they collected. They can also navigate back to a city quickly from their city collection.

06 Takeaways