A graduate from Qatar Foundation (QF) partner Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), has developed a mobile application that helps people - especially low income workers - to communicate with family and friends back home.
Qatari national Fatima Mustafawi has been trying to find a way to help improve the lives of low-income workers in Qatar through the use of technology for sometime. During her senior-year project at CMU-Q, she discovered a solution that would help her pursue her dream.
“The prototype allows users to communicate their most valued experiences with those they care about such as family and friends back home, as well as with friends in their new home,” Mustafawi said.
She believes that her mobile application differs from other the social media applications as it was studied, designed, and tailored using a simple interface based on user-centered analysis that responds to specific requirements.
Mustafawi explained how she planned for her project, saying: “From an ICT perspective, which assumes that smart phones make an impact on day-to-day lives, I realised that a phone application would be the best tool to use. So, I based my work on a two-step approach.”
“Firstly, I employed user-centred design methods – including interviews, observations, and a participatory design approach focused on both visual and verbal feedback – to prioritise needs from a user’s point-of-view. I then analysed the data outcome which revealed what this segment values the most – friendship, play, and respect – enabling me to create an ICT prototype that materialises these capabilities and contributes to improving the quality of their lives,” she continued.
According to Mustafawi, the main research question behind her project came from the intersection of her major in Information Systems with her minor in Ethics – essentially a point where the arts starts to inform and influence the sciences, which she found very interesting.
“My parents have always been very encouraging and pushed me to pursue new things outside my comfort zone so that I could choose my own path towards success,” Mustafawi says, explaining that her parents are the main reason behind her success, helping her look for the potential in every opportunity.
“My mother has always been my go-to person to run new ideas by and brainstorm with for event plans, project ideas, and big decisions. While my father is the epitome of hard work. He set high standards for me to follow, and that is why I like to put my 100% in everything I do. I hope to mimic his hard work and success in my own life.”
Mustafawi, who was elected as the Student Government President at CMU-Q was also a member of the basketball team and a course assistant, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the university.
“My studying experience was a very rewarding experience, not just because of the course content I learned during my classes, but because the university helped us, the students, to become better people, citizens, and leaders. One of the things which I appreciate the most about my learning experience is the soft-skills I gained from my classes, which I have been able to apply to other areas of my life,” she added.