mygreat – life in Copenhagen

“Mygreat – life in CPH” is a networking service for newcomers to see the lives of people living in CPH through visually engaging content (video/photo/voiceover). Through this service citizens can showcase the usual or unique aspects of their lives which may be useful or interesting for newcomers to know about.

Registration to the service is powered by a collaboration between STAR (visa process), SAS (airline company) and International House. This is to ensure a timely subscription to the service for both EU and overseas newcomers. As soon as newcomers ascertain their arrival date (via flight ticket or STAR visa approval), they can start watching and engaging with the content and their hosts. The newcomer is also automatically placed in an arrival group with other international newcomers who plan to arrive in the same month. This lets them exchange information, start networking and plan their lives before they arrive.

The service relies on hosts (citizens of CPH) to upload content. The quality of content posted on the app is ensured and incentivised by a social mile rating system. The more followers and views a host receives, the more social miles he/she qualifies for. Social miles not only increase the credibility of a host but also enables them to exchange their points for air miles in collaboration with an airline service. This in turn guarantees a successful business model for incentivising locals to share and communicate with newcomers and open up their lives to reinforce a sense of comfort and ease before moving to a foreign country.

DESIGN OPPORTUNITY

“Mygreat” is a result of a month long design process which combined a 2-week speculative design effort with experience prototyping and co-creation with users to realise the final product. Throughout this period the team interviewed over 30 people 5 of whom were prospective newcomers. We found that having a network before you arrive in CPH is key to unlocking the potential of the city. We also realised that people’s experience of immigration starts in their home country. At that point, newcomers would like to have visual tools to start imagining their new life. We wondered how we can generate a virtual network which also operates as a safety net – how might we give newcomers a network before they arrive in Copenhagen?

PROTOTYPING

The team prototyped the service using Snapchat’s “My Story” feature and later on held Skype interviews with newcomers to watch their reactions and get their feedback.

In the first iteration, everyone in team team played the role of a host and showed newcomers around Copenhagen (tourist locations, cultural hotspots, local bars, markets). During interviews we found that viewers want content which is visually-engaging and in the form of a story. They also want content to act as a tool to imagine their future in CPH. This is why they would like to follow similar life-stage individuals with whom they have something in common. Content was well received when it was snippets of daily life, fun facts and anecdotes, or insider information. Other aspects such as seeing the host in the video and giving a voiceover were favoured. Some of our viewers also chose to interact with us on Snapchat and sent videos showcasing fun aspects of their city.

In light of these findings, the team came up with a more refined question for the final concept – how might we give newcomers “instant friends” they can exchange stories with so that they feel less fear and worry about moving to Copenhagen? For our final iteration, four expats currently living in CPH were recruited. These designated hosts produced short video series – i.e., “a day in the life of” – and introduced their lives and surroundings to our newcomers. From the second prototype we learned that newcomers would also like to meet other newcomers who are due to arrive in CPH and see how they are planning their departure. As a result, an “arrival group” feature was added to the service.