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Project brief: Design a new "PC" experience for university (international) students with a focus on hardware systems. 

Research Approach

Literature Review + Empathy Exercises

Interviews + Participatory Activity

4 Activity Participants

7 Unstructured Interviews

12 Semi-structured Interviews

Data Synthesis + Design Direction

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27% back to school shopping spent on electronics

Top 5 Life Needs





News of Home

U.S. Dept. of State Report of the Visa Office 2018; National Center for Education Statistics 2018; Mintel Back to School Shopping Report 2019

Participatory Activity: Users were prompted using six different words in the context of their experience in a foreign country through the lens of technology, they had to answer by picking photo(s) to go along with their experience and elaborate why.   

Activity Protocol


Background Info


1. Navigating

2. Cooking

3. Communicating

4. Studying

5. Immersing

6. High/Low Point

Wrap up

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“I felt lost in a sea of people when I didn’t have my phone”

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Seeking Comfort within Chaos

The Struggle to Immerse

The Power of Human Kindness

Comfort in Familiarity 

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Opportunity Areas

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Product use Abroad


Jiang, Q., Li, Y., & Shypenka, V. (2018). Loneliness, Individualism, and Smartphone Addiction Among International Students in China. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 21(11), 711–718.

Sin, S.-C. J., & Kim, K.-S. (2013). International students’ everyday life information seeking: The informational value of social networking sites. Library and Information Science Research, 35(2), 107–116.

Park-Saltzman, J., Wada, K., & Mogami, T. (2012). Culturally Sensitive Mentoring for Asian International Students in Counseling Psychology. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 40(6), 895–915.

Bierwiaczonek1, K., & Waldzus1, S. (2016). Socio-Cultural Factors as Antecedents of Cross-Cultural Adaptation in Expatriates, International Students, and Migrants: A Review. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47(6), 767–817.

Bender, M., van Osch, Y., Sleegers, W., & Ye, M. (2019). Social Support Benefits Psychological Adjustment of International Students: Evidence From a Meta-Analysis. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 50(7), 827–847.

Akhtar, M., & Kroener-Herwig, B. (2019). Coping Styles and Socio-demographic Variables as Predictors of Psychological Well-Being among International Students Belonging to Different Cultures. Current Psychology, 38, 618–626.

Sin, S.-C. J. (2015). Demographic Differences in International Students’ Information Source Uses and Everyday Information Seeking Challenges. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41, 466–474.

Maffini, C. S. (2018). Campus Safety Experiences of Asian American and Asian International  College Students. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 9(2), 98–107.

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