Immigrants often experience career setbacks as they immigrate to the United States.  Having access to career guidance would allow immigrants to find careers that are better suited to their needs and skill sets, while minimizing career setbacks. 
     I've designed an app and website that provides a convenient way to access and communicate with a career coach so that immigrants can have a smoother, less-frustrating career transition into U.S.
    The biggest challenge for this project was designing an app and website for users with varying levels of English and technology proficiency.

Career Coaching for Immigrants


Project Overview


Lead UX Designer, User Research, Wireframing, Prototyping, Testing


May 2022 to July 2022

A career coaching app and website to help immigrants navigate their careers in United States.

Access to services for immigrants are limited because it requires users to have computers, transportation for in-person meet ups, and familiarity with using technology and English. 

Pain point #3: Inaccessible

A language barrier intimidates, prevents, and makes it more challenging for users to get help with navigating their careers in the U.S.

Pain Point #2: Language barrier

The education, experiences, and certifications earned in another country are not always transferable to the U.S.; therefore users experienced setbacks in their careers in the U.S.. They did not know how to reduce or overcome these career setbacks.

Pain Point #1:  Career Setbacks

User Research

As part of user research, I conducted four interviews with people who have immigrated and now work in the United States. I also did secondary research to better understand the current issues immigrants face when re-launching their careers in the U.S. The primary user group are adults, who are novice English speaker as well as young immigrants looking for career guidance.  The research identified the following pain points:

The interviews and the secondary research suggests that users were intimidated by the language barrier, found services to be inaccessible, and felt that their careers suffered career setbacks because their education, experience, and certifications were not transferable to their careers in the U.S.



✔   Problem Statement:
Ah Waing is a busy working immigrant who speaks very little English and needs a convenient way to access and communicate with a career coach, because she needs to find a job that is better suited for her skill set. 

✔   Goals:
  • Find a job that is better suited for her skills
  • Learn English in her own time
  • Acquire new skills that will make her a more competitive candidate
  • Make a smooth transition to American life

✔   Frustrations: 
  • Limited time to learn new skills for a new job
  • Language barrier
  • Intimidated by a job hunt
  • Overwhelmed and confused about where to start the job hunt

✔   Short Biography: Ah Waing just immigrated to the U.S. with her three kids and husband. She currently works the graveyard shifts at 7-11, in the worst part of town and has to spend 1.5 hrs on the metro to get to work. She would like to search and find a new job, but her opportunities are limited by her inability to speak English. She is intimidated, overwhelmed, and tired from managing her family and their transition to the U.S. 

“My English is not so good. How will I find a good job?”

- Ah Waing

✔   Problem Statement:
Micah is a senior in high school who needs college and career guidance so that he can find a career that would help him financially support his family.

✔   Goals:
  • Financially support his family
  • Make his family proud and help them advance
  • Pay for his community college

✔   Frustrations: 
  • Uncertain about which career path to go down
  • Feels pressured to get a job as soon as possible
  • Stressed about how to pay for his community college

✔   Short Biography: Micah is a senior in high school and will be graduating in the summer of this year. His family isn’t able to pay for college so he needs to find a part time job in order to pay for community college. He also feels a lot of pressure to help his family out financially and to have a successful career. He doesn’t know which career path to choose, but he wants to make sure it will help his family. 

“I need to pull my own weight and help the family out, financially”

- Micah


The design focused on increasing accessibility: a translation feature to resolve the language barrier and a quick way to contact a customer service representative to help users who might struggle with using technology.  

     In the initial ideation process, the focus of the design was on explaining how the process of meeting with a career coach works to users with varying levels of English proficiency.  The screen designs went through multiple iterations to guide non-native English speakers through the three step process of scheduling a meeting with a career coach.  

To further improve accessibility, the app includes:
  • Appointment availabilities outside of the 9 am - 5 pm business hours
  • Option to request a translator, and
  • Multiple ways to be contacted


Users wanted the navigation icons to be labeled.

The usability study revealed that users had a difficult time finding the translation feature. 


Usability Studies

The usability study discovered that users had some difficulty finding the language translation feature, wanted the icons to include labels to improve accessibility, and users wanted to include additional answers the dropdown list to include those without a formal education.


Users want more inclusive answers and more specificity about where the degree was obtained

Translation Feature

More Labels

Dropdown Answers


Research Goals:

The goal of the usability study was to determine if users with varying levels of English and technology proficiency  can complete the core task of filling out an intake form and scheduling a meeting with a career coach. 

Research Details:

I conducted an unmoderated usability study, remotely, in which five participants completed the task of filling out a form and scheduling a meeting with career coach.


Five participants, aged 18-50 years old, who are immigrants, with varying levels of English and technology proficiency were asked to complete a series of tasks.



✔   The usability study identified that the users want more inclusive answers and more specificity about where the degree was obtained:

  • More inclusive answer options added to the intake form
  • More specific questions to determine transferability of the degree 

✔   The usability study revealed that users had a difficult time finding the translation feature. This feature was moved to be top and center and the translation icon, at the bottom, is made more accessible with a label.

✔   Since not all users might have access to the app, the app was also designed as a website for desktop or laptop users.

  • Users tend to scan things quickly; therefore placing the most critical components at the very top will ensure the user sees it
  • More websites and apps need to prioritize breaking down language barriers
  • Do not assume that icons are not universally recognized and therefore should be labeled


“I thought it was user friendly and a unique idea that could be very helpful to people. I like that I'm able to tailor my search based on my history and my interests and that I can also schedule based on my preferred method of communication. ”


This app could really make a powerful and positive impact in preventing immigrants from experiencing career setbacks when they move to the U.S. It could help save them time, money, and the frustrations associated with re-launching their careers as well as help companies find top talent.




Possible Next Steps

Create a coach user interface which would allow coaches to review and edit resumes, create career programs, and communicate with those that need career help.

coach interface

Include additional resources that would provide users with educational and training lessons to further users' careers.

Include personalize career tracks or programs based on the user’s  needs.