amigoes – Design & Development

  • UI/UX design


amigoes: A Native App Enhancing Connections and Life Experiences for the Elderly in British Columbia – One Journey, One Friendship at a Time.

As a UI/UX designer, I was involved in the entire design process, from initial ideation and user research to the execution of the final design.

My role

UX/UI Designer (Competitive Analysis, User Interviews, User Flow, Wireframe, Usability Testing, Mockup, Design System)


Create a community-based app that strengthens social connections and networks for elder travellers and immigrants


Figma, Miro, Adobe Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects)


A 12-week college project in Q4 2022 at Langara College


Agile methodology with Trello


Won first prize at the student’s showcase event, Capstone

A question that often arose amongst us was, “how can our visiting elder relatives fully enjoy their stay when we are busy?”

The idea of amigoes was sparked by a casual conversation we had:

Tainara: Sorry guys, I have to leave early today. My mom is visiting me from Brazil.

Paola: Oh, is she? That’s great! My mom is also coming soon from Mexico, and I’m so excited!

Me (Noriko): I envy you guys… my parents visited me from Japan last year, but they don’t have any plans to visit again soon.

Tainara: Yeah, I’m happy that she is here, but… she can’t speak English at all. So, I need to be with her all the time, otherwise, she can’t go out alone. Honestly, I’m struggling a bit to juggle my college stuff, work, and being there for her.

Paola: I totally understand that. That’s exactly what I face every time my mom comes. Luckily, I have my husband and two kids who can entertain her when I’m out.

Me (Noriko): That’s right… when my parents were here, I wasn’t in college yet, and was flexible as I only had some freelance work. So, I could spend a lot of time with them. I can’t imagine how they could explore the city without any knowledge of English if I were busy.

Yes, in fact, with the steady increase of immigrants and international students in British Columbia, a unique challenge like above arose:
How can their visiting elder relatives fully enjoy their stay when their hosts are preoccupied with daily responsibilities?

As an international student, we realized that most of us have encountered some difficulties like above in entertaining our family and relatives when they visit us. To address this issue, we came up an idea to design amigoes, a community-based app that pairs elder travellers based on shared preferences, enabling them to use in-built translation feature.

I created a little funny 45 seconds short movie to show the background story!

So, how did we tackle this challenge of helping elder relatives enjoy their visit to a foreign land, while their hosts were busy? Let’s dive into the journey of amigoes.

amigoes onboarding

The Problem:
Elderly immigrants and visitors often experience social isolation and dependency due to language barriers.

To underscore the significance of the problem we aimed to address, we embarked on comprehensive research. Our findings, primarily sourced from Statistics Canada, illuminated the following realities:

International migration to Canada is on an upward trajectory, thereby boosting the country’s immigrant population substantially.

This demographic change brings to light the critical need for solid social connections and networks. This aspect is particularly crucial for elderly immigrants and visitors, who are frequently subjected to social isolation.

Language barriers exacerbate this issue, rendering many elderly visitors reliant on their busy family members for navigation and interaction within their new environments.

Canada’s population estimates, first quarter 2022

Social isolation of seniors: A Focus on New Immigrant and Refugee Seniors in Canada

User Research:
Exploring the experiences of elderly visitors in Canada.

To delve deeper into the problem and ensure that our app effectively addresses the identified issues, we conducted in-depth interviews with four elder visitors from various countries and backgrounds with totally 13 questions.

The primary objectives of our user research were:

  • To grasp their overarching perceptions and experiences when visiting family in an unfamiliar place.
  • To identify the challenges they might have encountered or could potentially face.
  • To ascertain what tools or resources could aid them in meeting their needs and objectives.
Interview-General Perceptions

General Perceptions

“Participants relished visiting their families and were keen to explore the city, yet often found themselves relying on their younger family members rather than venturing out independently.”

“While the potential utility of websites and apps was recognized, participants expressed concerns about their safety, ease of use, and accessibility.”


Encountered Difficulties

“Boredom emerged as a common problem when participants were waiting for their family members.”

“Language barriers, specifically difficulties with English, were a prevalent issue.”

“The need for companionship during activities was also highlighted.”


Identified Needs

“Participants expressed a desire to share their experiences as visitors or immigrants and connect with others in similar situations.”

“The prospect of meeting new people was appealing.”

“There was a marked preference for a simple, easy-to-use app with robust security measures to ensure user safety.”

Competitive Analysis:
Addressing the unique needs of elderly immigrants.

Our research didn’t stop at user interviews. We also conducted a thorough analysis of our competitors. While there are solutions that cater to the burgeoning senior tourism market, we discovered a significant gap: there are no services that specifically address the unique needs of elderly immigrants or visitors to international students and workers.
Many existing platforms have a dating app-like vibe, which was not our intended direction. Moreover, their broad scope can make navigation overwhelming for the elderly. In addition, their English-centric design neglects non-English speaking users, a key segment of our target audience.
Our app will make it clear that it is not a dating app; the scope will be narrower, making it easier for the elderly to use with a personalized language setting.

amigoes - competitors

Insights and Directions:
Creating a user-centric and safe app with essential functionalities.

Drawing from the insights gleaned from our research, we reassessed our initial assumptions and ideas to inform the design and functionality of amigoes. It became evident that we needed to prioritize those four areas:

Personalized Language Setting

Understanding that language barriers can be a significant challenge, the app allows users to select their preferred language for a more comfortable and personalized experience.

amigoes - Personalized Language Setting

Easy Navigation

Catering to the cognitive needs of older adults, the app ensures an intuitive user interface with simple and step-by-step navigation. It incorporates onboarding screens that users can return to at any time, not just at initial use, providing a continuous learning experience.

amigoes-Easy Navigation

Robust Security

The primary objective of this app is to facilitate connections and friendships, not dating. Consequently, when users attempt to match, only a “public profile” without photos and contact information is visible. Users are required to provide ID, emergency contact information, and medical information for added security. They can also block other users based on their experiences, and in emergencies, users can report incidents through the app for immediate action.

amigoes-Robust Security


The design philosophy of amigoes emphasizes simplicity and ease of use. Large buttons, easy navigation, progressive disclosure, and minimalist design ensure that the app is consistently user-friendly. The absence of a bottom navigation menu streamlines the user interface, while intuitive design and clear icons make navigation simple for elder users.



With a clear understanding of our target users’ needs and goals, we began refining our project’s scope by identifying three core features for amigoes.



By pairing users based on shared preferences such as language, activity, gender, date, and location, amigoes fosters connections between elder visitors in similar situations. This feature encourages safe and comfortable exploration of the city.



This feature allows users to search, learn about, and save their preferred tour locations. Users can opt to share their location, enabling other interested users to join them, thereby promoting connections.



To overcome language barriers, amigoes has an in-built translation feature that scans and translates English text to the user’s default language, enhancing user comfort and safety during their tours.

Understanding Users:
Crafting Solutions for Individual Pain Points

To encapsulate the diverse experiences and characteristics of our users, we created two distinct user personas. This emphasized their unique pain points, assisting us in establishing a user flow that illustrates the process each user would undertake to achieve their individual goals through our app.

Persona A – Mandy from Brazil


Persona B – Thomas from Mexico


User Journey:
Mapping a clear path to achieve users’ goals

Keeping our user-centered design approach at the forefront, we meticulously organized the app’s screens based on our user research findings. Our objective was to ensure the interface was as straightforward and user-friendly as possible, enabling our elderly users to navigate effortlessly through the app.



The visual identity of amigoes is designed to be friendly, inviting, and easy to use, reflecting the app’s core mission of facilitating connections and creating enjoyable experiences for its users.


Our logo is unique and playful, featuring a distinct “g” that resembles a smiling face. This adds a touch of warmth and friendliness to the brand, symbolizing the positive and enjoyable experiences users can expect from using the app.


Color Scheme

The primary color of amigoes is mint green, a soothing and calming hue, while the secondary color is salmon pink, adding a lively and warm touch to the overall design. These colors were chosen to create a welcoming and harmonious visual experience.


We chose the Ubuntu typeface for its clarity and readability. Its contemporary and approachable style aligns perfectly with our aim of making the app user-friendly for our senior users.



To further enhance the friendly and inviting feel of the app, we applied rounded corners to the design components such as buttons and cards. This not only ensures consistency in our design language but also makes the interface appear softer and easier on the eyes.


We opted for simple and minimal outline-style icons, avoiding filled shapes for a clean and uncluttered look. This minimalist approach contributes to the overall ease of navigation and readability, keeping the user interface straightforward and intuitive.




Visit our design system!

Measuring Success

For a digital product like amigoes, it’s crucial to establish clear metrics to gauge its success and impact. Here are key measures that could be used:

  • Successful Pairings
  • One of the key functionalities of amigoes is to pair elderly travellers based on their preferences. A primary measure of success, therefore, would be the number of successful pairings made through the app. A successful pairing could be defined as one where both users engage in at least one shared activity.
  • Pairing Satisfaction Rate
  • Following each pairing, users could be prompted to rate their satisfaction with the match on a scale of 1-5. This would provide direct feedback on the effectiveness of the app’s matching algorithm and the quality of interactions it facilitates.
  • Usability for Seniors
  • Since the app is designed for seniors, measuring ease of use is particularly crucial. This could be done through usability tests specifically designed for seniors, such as the Senior Computer Self-Efficacy Scale. Feedback could also be sought directly from users through surveys and interviews.
  • Accessibility Metric
  • Given the app’s focus on accessibility, a measure of success could be how well the app performs on accessibility audits. Tools such as Google’s Lighthouse could be used to regularly check and improve upon the app’s accessibility.
  • Use of Translation Feature
  • The app’s translation feature is a unique selling point that caters to its user base’s specific needs. Tracking how often this feature is used can provide insight into its value to users.
  • Retention Among Seniors
  • Retention might look different among senior users. Instead of focusing only on daily or weekly active users, it might be more appropriate to track monthly active users, considering that seniors may not use the app as frequently but might still find it valuable when they do.
  • Incident Reports
  • Given the importance of safety in this app, tracking the number of incidents reported can provide a measure of the app’s safety. The goal would be to see a decrease in this number over time as the app’s safety measures are refined and improved.


In a short span of 12 weeks, the amigoes app was successfully built and implemented, securing the first prize at the Capstone student’s showcase.

This recognition is a testament to the value of thoughtful UX/UI design in addressing real-world issues and enhancing user experiences.

Through strategic problem identification, user-centric design, and agile teamwork, amigoes demonstrates the power of digital solutions in connecting and empowering communities.