Openbare Bibliotheek van Amsterdam



Openbare Bibliotheek van Amsterdam | Ontwerplab




User research | strategy | concept | UX design | UI and visual design | project lead


Elif Kuvanlık | Emma Koole | Melissa Akkoç | Xabyne van Veen
How to make immigrants more self-reliant?
Thousands of people immigrate to the Netherlands each year. It's crucial to assist those without a network or a common language in the integration process. OBA is here to help by making knowledge and culture available to all Amsterdammers.
Our research shows that being digital illiterate combined with integrating into The Netherlands is difficult since governmental and municipality websites aren't designed from this perspective. To make things even more complex, the information new Amsterdammers need to access is mostly only in Dutch and scattered all over the web. Therefore, we focused on a solution to bridge this digital divide in the integration process.
Photo Overview Dims
"I know Amsterdam offers help, but I don't know where to find the help-points.


Overall we were facing two main challenges. First, how to give digitally illiterate newcomers around Amsterdam simple access to trustworthy information regarding the integration process. And second, how to guide immigrants to the organizations that offer help around Amsterdam. Right now, it's hard to know these organizations exist since they all operate individually.
Photo research DimsPhoto research DimsPhoto research Dims
"Everything is decetralized.

Step-by-step guidance

Due to observations and interviews with many organizations in Amsterdam, such as Vluchtelingenwerk, we learned that our target audience needs a lot of guidance to follow the extensive protocols to integrate into the Dutch system. However, there is no structured overview of what they need to arrange. This contradicts the Dutch emphasis on self-reliance.
We created a first prototype, which centralize a guide that shows what needs to be arranged while integrating. It also provides guidance to the organizations out there. These guides are written in the native languages of our target audience.
Photo paper guide Dims
Photo online guide Dims
Photo online guide Dims
"Can I use Google?

Choosing the correct design conventions

Testing with Arabic and Turkish speaking people proved that the content is valuable. However, the framework isn't suited since everyone needs customized information. Furthermore, the design conventions we used weren't suited for our users and the guide doesn't cover all of the target audience's demands, so we took it a step further. We noticed our target audience frequently uses Google.
The iteration phase inspired us to develop a prototype with a search engine at its core. By implemented a translation feature in the search bar, it allows people to search for information about integrating in their native language. In addition, the websites that appear are curated in the results to ensure reliability.
Photo homepage Dims
Photo homepage - refugee Dims
Photo homepage - refugee Dims
Photo homepage - refugee Dims
"Can I have the URL of Dims please?

Designing for digital illiterate users

The guides are implemented as suggested articles available on the website. We highlighted the guidance to organizations and their events in a prominent way. To better assist our digital illiterate target audience, we designed a help button. Testing proved that using the correct conventions is crucial for a good user experience.
For digital illiterate people, it's essential that they can relate to what they see. Instead of abstract line icons, we try to mimic the physical world by using 3D icons. Besides this, we colour coded the user groups that corresponds to the specific situations of immigrants, so they understand better which content applies to them.
Photo organizations Dims
Photo organizations Dims
Photo organizations Dims
This project was developed in collaboration with OBA as part of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences' Master Digital Design.