Uns “Refugees in Berlin” App

The Problem

Hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers fled from their war-torn countries and entered the European Union in the last several years to claim refugee status. In Germany, the current application process is a long, gruelling experience. Each host country has their own sets of rules and regulations that asylum seekers have to follow in order to claim their refugee status. In Germany, sometimes this process can last from weeks to months, and within that time, refugees have nothing to do but wait.


The Solution

Moving into a new country is a terrifying thing, and doing so as a refugee is even more overwhelming. My objective is to make integration a simpler, and stress-free process. Therefore, I designed Uns App, an events hosting app where people and organisations can advertise and join refugee-friendly events around the city.

I want my solution to become a one-stop shop for the community to use. It is a place where they can look up upcoming events, opportunities, and places to visit. At it’s core, the app would focus on creating friendships through shared interests & events. I also want to eliminate the agonising process of having to scour the Internet to find programs that suit refugee needs so that they can join in and be apart of the community as soon as they arrive in their new homes.


User Personas

1. Inana Alassar


Age: 19 / Refugee Status: TBD / Occupation: Student / Lanugages: Arabic, English, German

Insana and her mother and younger brother have been in Berlin for a little over 2 months. They are staying at her cousin’s apartment in Berlin as they wait for their asylum status to be approved. Inana was a second year university student when before she was forced to leave her hometown and hopes to continue her studies in International Relations as soon as possible. In the meantime, Inana is learning German on her own using German books from the local library but feels like she could improve by meeting more locals and having conversations with German native speakers


2. Ali Ahmad


Age: 37 / Refugee status: Approved / Occupation: Sales Clerk / Languages: Arabic, basic English, basic German

Ali lives in Berlin with his wife and young son. In Afghanistan, Ali was a successful businessman but had to leave his work behind in search for a safer life in Berlin. Ali was granted Refugee status after 3 months in the country and has found a temporary job at the local supermarket. He has just started taking his free German lessons and his skills are improving daily. Ali has began to feel a little more settled within his community but is now looking to expand his circle by finding new friends who share his passion in cycling and jazz music.


3. Jo Keim


Age: 24 / Hometown: Munich / Occupation: Masters student / Languages: German, English, French, Italian

Josephine has been living in Berlin for over a year. She moved o the city to pursue her masters degree and has settled comfortably in her Friedrichshain apartment, which she shares with her roommate and fellow classmate. Coming from Munich, she had witnessed first-hand the conditions Refugees had to endure when they first arrive into the country. She wants to do as much as she can to help, including opening her apartment to new arrivals and giving them a place to say for short period of time. She wants to do more, but is having trouble finding resources where she can find out about volunteering opportunities.


Wireframes & Architecture


I wanted my solution to be adaptable to fit my users widely variant needs. 

The user can sign up for the app using Facebook or an email account.

A. The app can be used search for events in their area or host their own meet-ups. Events can be filtered according to interests. There will also be a discussion thread where people can organise smaller events such as football games or coffee meetups.

B. The app will have a gamification aspect where users can earn ‘points’ by attending events, which will then be displayed on their profile. This works in a similar manner as ‘References’ in couch surfing. These points can be redeemed for concert tickets (provided by real-life refugee ticketing company HiMate) or food/coffee and restaurants

C. Organisations such as Arriving in Berlin, Give Something Back to Berlin, Let’s Integrate etc can host larger volunteer events.