For our research and problem scoping, we took advantage of the unusually large and richly diverse refugee population in Pittsburgh. We also conducted ethnographic research with a 7-member refugee family.
To even further support this solution, in 2011, the GSMA had announced that NFC-enabled SIM cards would become a global standard, underlining the practicality of Lantern as a tool.
A common problem we observed that all new refugees seem to have is the ability to use public transportation. Many of the refugees we spoke to spent years (sometimes decades) in refugee camps in underdeveloped countries, so unsurprisingly, public bus systems are alien to many of them. Combined with the lack of English skills, many refugees are unable to make use of this vital resource.
& What I found really cool
We also were very lucky that Pittsburgh harbored a lot of refugees. Some took shelter in a community called the City of Asylum, where ostracized artists from countries of strife had a safe haven to practice their art. It was an incredible experience walking around their houses and interviewing the community leaders.
This project gave me a fresh understanding of international design. In first world countries, design strives for "intuitive" interface design, but the "intuitive" part is only culturally relative, and that there are fundamental differences in the way we interpret design because of culture. It makes me wonder what other fundamental aspects of life influences interpretation of interface design.