International Rescue Committee

Rethinking Resettlement.

International Rescue Committee-hero


IRC—International Rescue Commitee


Design, Art Direction, Product Direction


Created at ISL

Fernando Castro // Creative Director

Paul Best // UX Design

Samya Bahari // Product Management

Meet Settle In.
Resettling in America is hard enough, but the stress, complexities, and information overload that come along with it can be daunting, at best.
Enter Settle In, a companion learning app that helps refugees navigate the complexities of resettling in the United States.

Tell, show, do, apply. The app uses a repeatable learning framework to fight information fatigue and ensure retention.

We used repeatable formats to make learning retention a breeze. Through video and information lessons, our users can learn in ways that work best for them. We then ask the users to apply that knowledge through easy and fun quiz formats. By mixing knowledge intake and application, we promote content that is interactive, not stagnant.

Achievment Unlocked. Gamifying the learning experience with progress and badging

To aid our users in a process that is otherwise stressful and daunting, we set out to find opportunities to celebrate the little wins. To encourage our users, we looked at three key areas: progress indicators for lessons, and chapters; badging at the completion of chapters; and milestone achievements on the overall app.

First time’s a charm. We used non verbal communication to show how to use our app.

Because Settle In uses several gestural actions to interact with the content, we accompanied first-time users with motion graphics to illustrate how to use the app.

Built in Language Support We designed everything for a global audience, built around a bi-directional layout.

The app was specifically designed to support a number of languages including Arabic and other right-to-left languages. In order to ensure a consistent experience, we built in bi-directionality in every design decision from a center-stress to our layouts to considerations for flipped iconography and orientation. The app now supports 6 languages and counting.

What's in a name? Well for us, it's a north star

We created naming and branding that captured the hope and sense of ease we hope to infuse into the resettlement process. The logo mark reflects the same intent with references to the statue of liberty crown. The typography features rounded corners and smooth geometric forms to reflect the approachability and stability the app will supply.

If type could talk… in 500+ Languages.

We carefully selected a font that could grow with the app. Noto sans offers consistent typographic features across many languages. It maintains its approachable and clear aesthetic even in more script-driven languages like Arabic.

A system of shape and color.

We stood up a systematic color system that was made to be put to work.
Through the combination of shape, color, and icon, the IRC team is set up to create future content that is distinct while still fitting into the broader system.

Custom Emojis to put a smile on that face

We created a set of custom emojis to capture a user’s mood throughout the resettlement process. Unfortunately, the feature never shipped because of legal issues.

This critical information has the potential to reduce resettlement anxiety and improve long-term outcomes for refugees.

—— Kate Steger, Director of CORE @ IRC