Evergreen Desktop Website Mockup
Evergreen Program Packages
Final Evergreen website and package prototypes.


Evergreen is a free 6-month subscription box-style program aimed at helping newcomers settle emotionally and financially into their new home. I and 4 other teammates worked with Scotiabank FactoryU to create a prototype of the service, website and 2 physical packages.


This 4-month project allowed me to work on a product from the initial research phase and understanding the business side, all the way to designing iteratively and pitching the final prototypes to the client.


Scotiabank FactoryU


  • UX Research

  • Business Analysis

  • User Interviews

  • Usability Testing


  • Website

  • Physical Box

  • Print Materials


Before I dive into the details of my project, I wanted to give you a high-level overview of the brief, the problem, the target users and goals of the final product. When I go over the nitty-gritty details, I'll explain the process and decisions that led to these final outcomes.


Evergreen is a free subscription box-style service helping New Canadians to gain financial literacy skills and settle emotionally into their new home.

The project consists of 2 mediums - a package prototype with print materials, and a prototyped website. I and 4 other teammates completed it in 4 months from conception to execution.


"How can we advise Canadians on breaking the pay-cheque-to-paycheque cycle?"

So what is the problem we're trying to solve? Evergreen has 3 problems that it aims to address

  1. Newcomers are a living paycheque-to-paycheque.

  2. They don’t know how to access information about finances.

  3. They have a hard time settling emotionally and financially after arriving.

From these initial problem areas that I came across after conducting rounds of research, we created the problem statement:

"New Canadians have a difficult time finding culturally sensitive financial integration and education when they first arrive in Canada".



Evergreen focuses on New Canadians as a whole, but for our MVP, we decided to focus specifically on those arriving to Toronto from India. The specific persona that we are using is the Singh family.

India is one of the top 3 countries from which Canada gets the highest number of immigrants from and for research purposes they were a demographic which were easily accessible to us.

The Singh family consists of a mother, father, and two young children.


The main goal for Evergreen was to understand why newcomers struggle emotionally and financially after arriving to Canada, and then create a platform/service that proactively sets them up for long-term success.


Throughout the duration of this project, I wore many hats but primarily I was the user research lead and conducted the business analysis. 


Since this topic, and demographic, was so new to our team, we needed to conduct various rounds of research to narrow down on target audience, gain financial literacy, understand immigration and settlement processes, learn about accessibility in design and more. Through this research, we were able to create user flows, journeys, personas and maps/diagrams to better understand the user. I also conducted user interviews and usability testing through various stages of the design cycle.


On the business analysis side, I created several reports and models to understand the feasibility of our product. I created competitive analyses, a business model canvas, and a proof of concept. This not only allowed us to make sure our product was usable for our users, but also made sure it was a viable business.


Now that you know the high-level overview about Evergreen and my role within the project, I'm going to walk  you through the process we went through from research, design decisions through to the final product and takeaways that I learned from the experience.


At the very beginning of the project, our Industry Partner, Scotiabank FactoryUpresented us with an overarching goal of creating a solution to "make Canadians better off". 


Under this large umbrella, they presented us with 3 topics where we got to pick the one we wanted to work on:

  1. Collaborative Banking

    • As young people are being priced out of the housing and investment market, how might the bank provide new ​digital solutions for young Canadians to in Today's challenging economy?

  2. Advice

    • How might we create new digital solutions to help address the ongoing challenge for many Canadians who struggle financially, and enable them to advance beyond living paycheque-to-paycheque?

  3. Trust

    • How might a digital solution enable banks to play a more meaningful and proactive role in customers' biggest life events?

We chose to tackle Question 2 for a few different reasons:

  • to challenge ourselves and work with a demographic that we didn't have much experience with.

  • to unpack the existing connotations behind the meaning of "P2P", understand what it truly means, who are affected by it and potentially debunk stereotypes.

  • to understand what advice means for this type of a situation while and learn how to give it properly.


As we knew from the beginning, this project was going to be very research-heavy since the topic was pretty new to the team. Additionally, the project scope was very broad, especially for a 4-month timeframe, so we first started by individually creating broad research questions to formulate a more specific problem space. I focused mainly on user research to understand things like: 

  • Who is being affected

  • Where they are located

  • What causes the P2P cycle 

  • How/if the cycle has been broken in the past

This preliminary research allowed us to see the key demographics and root causes of the P2P cycle, and we were able to create our long-term goal of helping low-income Canadians gain more financial literacy in a way that is easy to understand and effective.

This initial round of research allowed us to discover key demographics that were struggling with the P2P cycle and gave us a better understanding of how it starter/occurs in Canada. We created a stakeholder’s map, wrote How Might We (HMW) notes, and dot voted on what we felt was most important to focus on moving forward.

HMW notes, all of them clustered (left) and those chosen through dot-voting (right).

After compiling the HMW and research notes, the next step was deciding on our target market. Through our research, we discovered that there are many groups of people live P2P, but 1 in 5 Canadians are immigrants, and of those, 34% live in poverty. After dot-voting, we decided to focus on New Canadians as our target market and that in order to ensure we were finding real pain points and not making assumptions, a second round of research was necessary. This time we would be focusing on immigration to Canada.


We did this by conducting user interviews, creating anonymous surveys, and doing extensive secondary research. We also created empathy maps and converged our research to discover common pain points.

Dot-voting on target demographic.
Empathy mapping a user after preliminary interviews.


After conducting lots of primary and secondary research about the immigration process and who is the most affected, we found out that the top 3 countries with the highest immigration rates to Canada are India, China and the Philippines.

From there, we created a persona from each of the respective countries. For the sake of time, for our MVP we decided to focus on our persona of The Singh Family from India.

There are a few reasons why we chose the Singh family as our main persona:

  1. They are based on a family that we interviewed and would allow us access to use them for further testing and validating throughout the project.

  2. The family's story reflects a majority of other immigration cases: they arrived in Canada as a family with 2 kids, one parent has a job, both parents have a high level of education from their home country but only one's is transferrable.

  3. They didn't arrive with a lot of money or any family in the area.

Singh Family Persona - India
Kevin Zhang Persona - China
Tala Rivera Persona - Phillipines
Image 1: Singh Family from India, chosen persona.
Image 2 & 3: personas from China and the Philippines, the other 2 countries with the highest immigration rate to Canada.


Now that we've narrowed down on our target market and have done initial interviews with those who have immigrated to Canada from India, we started to get a sense of what the pain points of the process are. After doing some additional research, I found some reasons why a number of individuals end up stuck in the P2P cycle.

Some of those reasons include: 

  • no/limited access to information about the Canadian financial system

  • there are resources that aim to help newcomers, but don't start at the very basics

  • it's not just about finances, cultural integration is a big part of the problem

  • the immigration process costs a lot of money (buying/renting a house, getting a car, licence, etc.)

Although some of these problems are not things we can tackle, we wanted to address and solve the issue of there not being enough preliminary information that guides newcomers through the settlement process from finances to cultural integration. The problem statement we created that we wanted to solve was:


"New Canadians from India have difficulty finding culturally-sensitive financial education and integrating when they first arrive in Canada."


2 Months into this project and we hadn't started working on solutions until this point. We wanted to be very thorough in making sure that we covered as much of the research as we could, in order to make informed decisions when it came time to ideate, design, prototype and test.

When we finally reached the stage of ideating, the process of coming up products that could solve our problem statement involved a lot of crazy 8s and 16s, whiteboard drawings, scrap pieces of paper and googling.

We initially came up with a large variety of ideas from electronic piggy banks that teach investment, a social campaign, a video series etc.

Whiteboard drawing of social campaign
Whiteboard drawing of my electric piggy bank idea.
Whiteboard drawings of initial ideas, compiling the group's crazy 8 creations
Whiteboard skech of the subscription box idea
Initial whiteboard drawing of subscription box that we chose to pursue.

As we were drawing out our Crazy 8 ideas on the whiteboard, a teammate came up with the idea of having a subscription box full of a mix of items and information, some about finances, some simply about products that were common in Canada. This was an interesting idea as it had a lot of potential from the MVP all the way to a fully customizable product.

Some initial ideas we had were:

  • automated delivery, where if we had a series of boxes then each would be delivered when triggered by another event

  • could have an accompanying website focused on education

  • it's very scalable

  • can be customized to the newcomer based on where they are coming from and their personal situations

After dot-voting, we unanimously agreed that this was the idea we wanted pursue!



After a lot of deliberation, we decided that for the MVP, we wanted the website to be fairly basic.

  • We want it to be one of the main points of contact where users find and learn about the program

  • The primary call-to-action should be to sign up for the subscription service


Similarly, for the package/boxes, we wanted to keep the system fairly basic. The two things we want the boxes to focus on are:

  • Provide resources for long-term financial and emotional success

  • be delivered directly to them to minimize effort on the users' part


Now that we had fleshed out the basics of the website and subscription boxes, we now had to map out how users would interact with each product and how the program would be laid out. To do this, we created a user journey map using the information we gathered during the interviews.

Some important insights we understood at this stage were:

  • The program will be 6 months long as currently, people feel it takes them 1 year to feel settled and we want to cut that in half

  • Each box will be sent out corresponding to a specific time period where they're needed

    • Eg. when a newcomer arrives, they'll get a welcome pack providing them with information regarding the local currency, how to open a bank account, etc.

    • Eg. 1 month into moving to their new home is when newcomers generally start experiencing culture shock and homesickness so that's when an emotional support package would be sent.

Take a look at the full journey map below where we looked at the user's desired outcome, pain points, feelings & thoughts, actions and touchpoints during the full 6 months of the program.

Evergren User Journey Map
User journey map of the Singh family.


Using the high-level goals that I set out for the website and going through the user journey, I created a list of additional things that the website should accomplish at its MVP stage to bring the most value to the user. The website should:

  • Be informational to relay what the program is about.

  • Have the main CTA as the signup, making it and the process very apparent.

  • Be accessible. Since we're appealing to a different demographic and there will already be lots of barriers, we want to reduce them as much as possible.

  • Be available in multiple languages

Taking these things into consideration, we created some paper wireframes with the basic architecture of the website. We wanted to create and test in an agile manner so that if the users found problems, we would be able to fix them right away and we wouldn't have to start from the beginning.


After creating the paper wireframes, we tested them with 5 groups of people, mainly students and about half of them came to Canada within the past 4 years.

The testing session was a usability and A/B test. We wanted to understand if the user was able to understand the different parts of the page, detect buttons and other CTAs, and to see if the layout of specific sections like the hero page made sense. We did this by running them through the scenario in which the user would come across this website, and then had them go through some scenarios to see how they executed them.

We mainly gained positive comments about the interface, but we also had some insights that warranted rethinking some aspects of our concept.

Initial usability testing of the product concept, and paper wireframes of the website.


From conducting our first round of usability testing, our users gave us some insight into the following holes in our concept. 

  1. How will newcomers find out about the program?

    • Right now we are assuming that our users will find us through google search or some other search form, but that requires them to understand that this program is something they need, and it's also assuming they know what to search in the first place.​

    • Although this is not something we can prototype, we planned to fix this problem by having the program connected through the Immigration Canada website, have partnerships with immigration lawyers, and also set up an airport kiosk system where newcomers can be greeted and sign up for the program as soon as they land in Canada.


  2. Many newcomers don't have residences upon arrival

    • Since we want this program to be as convenient as possible, we were originally planning on shipping each package directly to their house to take the guesswork out of it and give them more time to focus on settling in than worrying.​

    • To fix this issue on the website, we decided to give users the option to have packages shipped to their address, or they have the option to find the pickup point closest to where they'll be staying and give them the option to pick it up from there.


  3. The service doesn't seem trustworthy since it's free

    • Many of the users thought that this service was too good to be true since it was free. We hadn't provided enough information to consider it credible, so users weren't likely to sign up.

    • Although I haven't mentioned the business aspect yet, a large part of the business model was to use brands to pay for space and items in the box which helps them gain brand loyalty by a new customer segment. To give a better understanding of why the service is free, we would include information about the brand sponsorships so that users can have peace-of-mind that the service is in fact free, and credible.

After addressing these conceptual setbacks, we were able to then focus on creating the actual website, and the 3 decisions that went into making the decision look and work the way it does.


The first decision we made which has a big effect on how the overall product turned out and its meaning was the branding. We came up with two very different brands with two very different meanings, but both accurately described the feeling we wanted our product to give.

Evergreen branding

1. Evergreen

For our first brand choice, we created Evergreen. With cool green tones, and some form of a plant. We wanted this one to give the feeling of planting your roots and starting a new life in the place where evergreen trees call home.

2. Welcome Home

This brand choice was definitely more Canadian. we played around with the idea of using the classic national red colour and maple leaf or moose logo to invoke warmth and make them feel as though they were home.

Welcome home branding
Evergreen initial branding.
Welcome Home branding

Going against the testing insights

I tested our two branding concepts with 5 separate users, and each one thought that the "Welcome Home" was a better one for the project. They indicated that it reminded them of Canada and achieved the warmth and comfort that we were trying portray.

Even though all of our testing sessions indicated that we should use the red branding for our product, we decided to use the Evergreen branding for a few reasons:

  1. Upon further brainstorming, we could pull more meaning from this concept (eg. the rings in the tree bark represents stages)

  2.  Since we wanted accessibility to be a number one focus, having red as a primary colour can be a large barrier in making designs colour-blindness friendly and also accountable for error states

  3. Although we are wanting to create a service for New Canadians, we didn't want our brand to solely rely on Canada as if we would want to scale it to be international in the future, it could be a hindrance.

  4. Our team just liked the Evergreen branding better

Branding brainstorming
Further brainstorming about the Evergreen brand.
Final Evergreen logo and tagline


As I've stressed throughout this case study, accessibility was at the forefront of what we wanted to accomplish with the website and packages of this program. We took many steps to make sure that we were staying true to that while learning about accessibility guidelines.

Design System.png

1. Typefaces

We used 2 typefaces throughout the designs, Arvo and APHont. These are considered to be the easiest to read typefaces, and we made sure to accompany it with proper sizing and spacing.

2. Colours - colourblindness

Although we use green as our primary colour, we tested it to make sure they pass the colourblindness test. In this case, that doesn't mean the user was able to see the separate colours, but as long as the colour wasn't the only thing distinguishing two things from each other, the colours were easy enough to tell apart from non-clickable items.

3. Colours - contrast

Each primary and secondary variation of the colours were tested and met the contract requirements to ensure that overlapping text and colours are always readable.

Evergreen Typeface and Colour System


One of the UI components of the final website is the "How it Works" section. This section explains to the user what to process of signing up for the program means, and the steps they would go through in order to receive their packages. I went through 3 different iterations before landing on the final design.

1. Primary iteration

In this iteration, the section is simple with each step of the process having an image, a title and corresponding copy.


The problem with this is that the steps didn't feel like they flowed from one to another, and each element seemed very separate from one another. Another problem that I wanted to update was the issue that came up in our preliminary testing about the credibility of the service when we don't explain why it's free. 

2. Second Iteration

This iteration included a basic visual of an Evergreen Package and an explanation of each item. I also updated the steps of getting the packages into proper cards to make each step look more connected to each other.

The problem with this iteration is that there still isn't enough information about why the program is free, and the steps could still be showcased better in flowing from one to the other.

3. Final iteration

This final iteration flipped the order of the how it works section, showcasing it first. The cars now point to each other, bettering the flow. This allows the user to understand each step is a continuation of the previous.

The section explaining why the program is free includes a little blurb, a section of our sponsors, and also points to the various products in the packages and explains their use, making the free part more credible.

About original-01.png
First iteration of How it Works section.
Aleena Singh about new-01.png
Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 9.37.57 AM.png
Third iteration of  How it Works section.
Second iteration of  How it Works section.


Final version of the Evergreen website. Click the picture to visit and interact with the InVision prototype.

Tada! Here it is, the final product of our Evergreen website. It was designed with AdobeXD and prototyped using InVision.

So, what did we want to accomplish with this website after working on it for 4 months?

  • We want this to be a primary touchpoint where people find out about Evergreen, learn more about it and sign up.

  • The website is offered in Hindi and English, and hopefully other languages in the future.

  • You can register for the program, order the packages to your house or a pickup point, and preview what will be inside each of the packages

  • There are additional resources for immigration lawyers, banks and other partners of Evergreen who provide help to with anything newcomers might need

  • We focused on accessibility and made the website colour-blind friendly, easy to read for the visually impaired and have it pass the contrast checker.

Want to interact with the website? Click the photo or here to view the InVision prototype!


Now that you know about the journey of our website, here's more about the process of creating and testing the physical packages that we prototyped. High-level, at the beginning of the process we knew that we wanted to packages to:

  • provide informational resources about Canadian finances and general information about health and wellness

  • provide fun "Canadian" items to make them feel welcome and know about the culture

  • ensure that each package arrives either when or right before it's needed

  • the information in each package should be available in multiple languages to reduce language barriers

Using these as a basis for for what we wanted to achieve, we started planning out what the program could look like.


Product photo of the welcome bag.
Package Stages
Welcome pack, first package received upon ariport arrival.
4 boxes received at various points in the 6-month program period, each with their own topic.

When we created our user journey map, we used our primary and secondary research to tell us what kinds of things New Canadians experience during their settlement process (such as banking needs, culture shock, etc.). This allowed us to plan our touchpoints and when the user would be interacting with the website versus the packages. After the first touchpoint of the website, we had to plan out the boxes accordingly, so with a rough idea of user's needs, we outlined the 6-month program packages as such:

  1. Welcome pack - upon arrival

  2. Box 1: Financial Success in Canada - 2 Weeks after arriving

  3. Box 2: Emotional Success in Canada - 1 Month after arriving

  4. Box 3: Banking Success in Canada - 3 Months after arriving

  5. Box 4: Investment Success in Canada - 6 Months after arriving


Card sorting usability test
Card sorting which items and resources should go in each box at each stage.
Finalizing the contents of each package.

Card Sorting

After coming up with the package timeline outlines, we wanted to conduct a card sorting session where we proposed the timelines, printed off several "cards" or products and information that could be included in any of the packages, and tested to see 1: if the timelines made sense for the purpose of the topic and 2: to see what kinds of products and information resonated with the users to see.

The users were presented with 5 sheets of paper, each labelled with the boxes and times, plus one extra sheet with additional products/information that would be a nice-to-haves! The sheets also had blank spaces underneath where users could lay the cards they thought would be useful for each.

Generally, we mentioned that there should be around 6 ish items for each category and having half as products and the other half as information might be a good way to balance them but those were all just ideas and the testers were free to include whatever they felt was appropriate!

Testing Takeaways

  • Item Guide

    • There are many products/types of information that newcomers might not be familiar with, so including an item guide in each package ​telling the user how many and which items are in each box, plus their use would be important to make the experience as clear as possible

  • Provide pickup points

    • Many immigrants don't have permanent housing as they arrive and settle into Canada, so having the boxes delivered to their home as the only option wasn't the best option for the user

    • We needed to pivot a little and include the option of pickup points as a way for our users to get their packages (this can include nearby post offices that they can find using their postal code for the address they're residing in at that time). This would be in addition to the home delivery that we already planned on offering

  • Timing of box 1

    • Financial success pack, originally planned to deliver 2 weeks after they arrive in Canada, seemed like it was planned a little later than it would be needed. We wanted this pack to include things like initial banking and job info, so waiting 2 weeks would mean the information would reach the user after they would need it, making it useless

Next Step

After the card sorting, we took the feedback from the exercise and conducted additional secondary research where we created a more formalized look at what we wanted to include in the packages, print it and show it to the same group to see what they thought of the choices of information/products! All of the users agreed with the choices, allowing us to move onto creating the low-fi prototype of the boxes.


Lowfi box prototype.jpg
Getting crafty and creating a low-fi prototype of the financial support box.

Creating the low-fi prototype

At this stage of our project, we had a few weeks until it was time to pitch to Scotiabank. We knew we wanted to have a prototype of the website and the boxes for the presentation to really show the depth we had been working at and to create an immersive experience, but we also wanted to make sure we were being realistic in the amount of work we could accomplish and accomplish well at in the short time we had.

We decided that we could prototype the first welcome pack and the first box (financial success), which would give us enough time and content to do a great pitch, so we started out with a quick exercise by using whatever we could find and improvise to create those 2 initial boxes. This allowed us to have a physical component, and use that to build our full experience and story.

Using this method, we were able to decide that a great first package touchpoint could be at the airport where our users would be arriving. Having an Evergreen presence at the airport allows us to accomplish 1. a unified area for newcomers who signed up for the program before arriving to pick up their welcome pack 2. a visual presence for newcomers who didn't know about the program before arriving to see it upon arrival and sign up.

We took this low-fi prototyping opportunity to create really simple versions of all the products, information, etc along with the product guide that we learned we should include from the card sorting exercise.

Testing the low-fi prototype

Pack testing.JPG
Website testing.JPG
box testing.JPG
Full usability testing and walkthrough of the high-fidelity website prototype, branding, and low-fi box prototypes.

Testing the low-fi box along with the website and branding was the last session we were able to conduct and I was in charge of the box testing. I used this as an opportunity to not only test how the things are packed, along with the products and the item guide, but also to use this as a mock-run through of what it would be like if we used the website as well, and acted as if the users were genuinely our users going through the process of finding Evergreen, signing up for the service, receiving the first package at the airport, and setting up the pickup point process from their knowledge at that time for the financial success box.

All of the users participating in the usability testing shared positive reviews (aside from those that would be fixed when the prototype would become high-fidelity. They indicated that the website was easy to navigate and that the sign-up was intuitive, especially accounting for the user-group we chose, and that the information/products we provided were useful and relevant.


High Fidelity Box Protoypes

Wow, what a process! Voila, the final product of the welcome pack and financial success package prototypes! Between the low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes, we worked a lot as a team to bring the package to life - full with branding, information packages, item guides, products, labelling and more!

So what exactly is in the physical prototypes of our packages, and how did we make them?

Welcome Pack

  • Item Guide

  • Pair of Mittens

  • Granola Bar

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • SIM Card

  • Presto Card

  • Toronto Transit Map

  • Canadian Currency Guide (English and Hindi)

  • Language and Slang Guide (English and Hindi)

  • OHIP Tips Guide (English and Hindi)

  • Success Folder

Financial Success Box

  • Item Guide

  • Tim Hortons Hot Chocolate

  • Coffee Mug

  • Maple Syrup

  • Toque

  • Notebook and Pen

  • Banking 101 Guide (English and Hindi)

  • Job Search 101 (English and Hindi)

  • Build-a-Budget Guide (English and Hindi)

  • Resume and Cover Letter Tips (English and Hindi)



As you can probably tell from reading this case study, this project was a long one full of trying different things for the first time, and that also resulted in a lot of takeaways for me

  1. Jack of All Trades
    This project was as multidisciplinary as they come so I had the opportunity to learn different frameworks of research and design methodologies. I was also working on design and business aspects as well so learning the business behind each design decision was also a great opportunity to learn new things.

  2. Picking my battles
    Working in a team of 5 people results in a lot of decision-making that the whole team might not agree with. There were lots of points in the project where I didn't necessarily agree, however, those were only the small parts. Learning to make compromises for the greater good of the project was something that I learned throughout the project and is something I will definitely be taking into future projects.

  3. Importance of understanding your user
    This was the first project I've worked on where I was encouraged to research and test from the beginning to end. Having the user as the heart of the project really informed a lot of the decisions that I made in the design, the way the program works, along with the business model. A lot of our decisions wouldn't have been the same if we didn't focus so much on the user.


If I had the chance to continue working on this project, a few things that I would love to into:


  1. Test boxes and website for usability issues
    Testing and research have been at the forefront of each step of this project. I would love the opportunity to see the final website and boxes in action, to see the usability problems and continuously iterate to make the interaction easier and to ensure that all the items and information continues to be relevant.

  2. What’s the first touchpoint?
    We made several assumptions in creating this product as although we did try to test and research, some things weren't available to us. One of those assumptions was the first touchpoint where users would find out about Evergreen and sign up. The website, along with its partnering companies promoting it, and the airport kiosk were the two first touchpoints that we thought of, and I would like to see if those would really be the right touchpoints to bring in users and tell them about the program.

  3. Work towards the "car"
    This project was all about creating an MVP, a product that was functional without any of the bells and whistles. Moving forward, I would love to be able to start working on extra features to reach out to more audiences, scale the product to work for additional countries, be customizable so that those from different households, different financial levels, education levels etc. can still benefit from Evergreen.