Unlock Melbourne is a mobile app to help internationald discover their new home, Melbourne.
Students can have an incredibly varied experience in Melbourne. While many have life-changing experiences and go on to be avid advocates for our city overseas, their lack of a local network, life experience and cultural knowledge can make them vulnerable to isolation and even exploitation.
We developed concepts, designed and built a mobile app to support international students to help them have a successful and happy experience in our city.
Our first question was simple: how can a digital tool help international students in a way that has the most impact on their wellbeing? Building on previous ethnographic research we’d conducted with Study Melbourne, we developed a co-design approach that involved international students at every step.
The solution? ‘Unlock Melbourne’, an app that guides international students through the most important tasks to complete in their first days in Melbourne—from learning how to say ‘hello’ to finding out how to seek help. Key to the design was making these ‘tasks’ feel approachable and easy through natural language, satisfying interactions, and using the international language of emojis as a key experience feature.
The Unlock Melbourne app was launched for both Android and iOS in March 2018, to coincide with the kick off of university for 2018. While in its early days, as users come on board we hope to see not just an uplift in their use of the app, but in the feeling of confidence they have in their new city.