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What is it like to be a newcomer in Norway?

IMDi is responsible for the life event “New in Norway.” With help from Halogen and Rambøll, they began this work by gathering insights from users themselves and visualising these experiences through their users’ journeys.

Being a newcomer in Norway includes meeting with a number of public services, requirements, and processes. A comprehensive analysis has now been created that shows how this is experienced by immigrants and refugees. The aim was to gather users’ experiences and experiences related to these meetings with the public systems in Norway and to identify what needs must be taken care of in order to create coherent and user-friendly services.

The analysis is based on 274 interviews with six target groups: resettlement refugees, adult asylum seekers, unaccompanied minor asylum seekers, children who have immigrated with their families, family immigrants, and job seekers with an immigrant background.

The user journey from arrival to everyday life

A lack of information, processes that are difficult to understand, and varying offers around education and work are some of the things that users have pointed out. Some find it difficult to adjust, but many experience a good and meaningful everyday life after a few years in Norway. Based on these user experiences, Halogen and Rambøll developed user journeys that illustrate the immigrants' own experiences of the journey both before and after arrival in Norway and until they live a normal everyday life here.

For us at IMDi, it was very important to start this life cycle event by gaining insight into how immigrants and refugees themselves experience coming to Norway. To be able to have these user experiences visualized in user journeys has been a useful tool. This enables us to understand how these challenges look from a user perspective and also compare this with the challenges seen from the services' perspectives.

Project manager, IMDi

Traditionally in public administration, analyses have been made based on the administration's point of view and organization. The fact that IMDi chose to use design methodology and begin working based on users' experiences helped to clarify new perspectives and identify actual needs, for example coordination between services from various public actors.

Design methods revealed important insights

These conversations with immigrants and refugees provided insight on various challenges, opportunities, and breaches, and where variations exist, for example between municipalities and various offers. The design methodology is based on that we see the experiences from the users' points of view, and reveals, for example, that the users do not necessarily have any relationship with what kind of public authority that provides these various services.

Based on the experiences that they shared with us, we visualised user journeys for each of the target groups. In this project, we solved it so that each user journey shows a main journey that was the experience most of the target group had. But because there were also large variations in some of the experiences, the journeys show where the experiences are more varied, both in a positive and negative sense. In addition to these user journeys, Halogen and Rambøll also submitted a report with a more in-depth presentation of their findings.

Getting into the knowledge base about the life event

Before the final delivery was completed, we also presented these findings and user journeys at an analysis seminar for IMDi and their collaboration partners from "New in Norway." There, the participants continued to work with challenges that were identified in the insight work. IMDi now uses these insights and user journeys as one of several knowledge bases in its work with the life event "New in Norway."

Halogen and Rambøll have recently presented the insight at a webinar where IMDi also presented how they are working with this further. The Norwegian Digitalisation Agency also gave a presentation on the general work with life events and related services.

See recordings from the webinar

Read the report

For more information, please contact

Leif Verdu-Isachsen
Head of Design and Deliverables

+47 90 91 99 21