Mind Your Language

Lisa Emmanuel 

ROLE

UX designer

CLIENT 

CareerFoundry 

TIME

4 weeks 


Objective: To Empower people to learn a new language

Methodology: I used a Lean UX process to design the MVP. 

Mind your language: Is an app that is for users learning a new language to learn and practice vocabulary any time and place and also learn vocabulary through different methods. This project is not a full scale UX project, it is meant to get me started on the fundamentals of a good user experience


Mind Your Language

Competitor Analysis 

I conducted a competitor analysis on three different vocabulary learning apps. Learning the strengths and weakness' of each app was very useful and insightful. 

Positives

  • Users can see how the word is used in different contexts e.g. in a news article, video and other formats.
  • Learn grammar see synonyms and antonyms 

Negatives

  • A bit of a slow start from the splash page to the first onboarding page (the sign-up page).
  • The user has to wait a bit to get straight into what the whole app is about.

Positives 

  • The user has the option of creating their own flash cards.
  • The user can save any deck of cards they like and practice the vocabulary.

Negatives

  • The sign in option is slightly confusing because the User doesn’t in fact have to sign up but they have the option of just scrolling down and going onto the onboarding page.
  • The emphasis of the sign up and log in button makes it seem like the user has to sign up to be able to use the app when in fact they do not have to. 

Positives

  • ​The navigation is straightforward.
  • It is useful for learning more complicated vocabulary. 
  • Functionality is simple; scroll left to see the previous days words’.

Negatives 

  • It is quite limited in functionality, users can't upload vocabulary they want to learn. 
  • They can't save words they would like to remember for future reference. 


 

User Research

I had set a couple of goals in mind before conducting user research:

  •   To understand the reasons why people were learning a new language 
  •   Know the time they are spending learning new vocabulary and how it fits into their  lifestyle 
  •    Recognise the features they like/dislike from the vocabulary apps they are currently using.

I conducted six interviews. 

Sally, 29, learning Spanish

"Hard to learn new vocabulary and conjugation. I keep wanting to find like a summary sheet online that’s interactive and gives you examples.Some tips on how you can remember things, or associations, pictures always help me, and visually seeing the words in Spanish and English"

Karmen, 18, learning Spanish

"I've been learning Spanish since high school but now it's not coming me as naturally. I'm having trouble remembering some words when I speaking. I think connecting with Spanish speakers would be very helpful. "

Kendall, 27, learning French

"I attend french classes once a week in the evening. Not living in the country can make retaining vocabulary, the right app may help with that when I'm in New Zealand and then travelling to France"


Jordan, 25, learning Italian

 "I practice Italian 2-4 times a week, I lived in Italy and want to keep my Italian. Consistency is important, I don't practice often enough."

Claudine, 26, learning Mandarin Chinese 

"I find that I need a more consistent approach to both retain learned vocabulary and absorb new context. I often forget words I’ve already learned in the past because they were either too technical (i.e. jargon words specific to a particular idea) or not as relevant in my day to day conversations. "

User Research

I had set a couple of goals in mind before conducting user research. (1) to understand the reasons why people were learning a new language  (2) time they are spending learning new vocabulary and how it fits into their  lifestyle and (3) the features they like/dislike from the vocabulary apps they are currently using. I conducted six interviews. 


Proto Persona

Problem Statement

Ella needs to find a way to practice vocabulary she learns Spanish because she is moving to Colombia in six months.  She's having some difficulty learning Spanish because of her schedule and disorganisation. 

Hypothesis Statement

We believe in making vocabulary learning more fun and interactive. through different methods of learning. For Ella we will make vocabulary learning more accessible, fun and motivating. 

Information Architecture

I created two user flow based on the proto-persona ( a typical user). 

  • The first user flow will focus on learning new vocabulary through music. 
  • The second user flow will focus on revising vocabulary. A step by step task analysis was written out before I made the user flow 

User Flow 1 : This user flow shows the steps that need to be taken  to learn vocabulary through music 

User Flow 2: This user flow shows the steps that taken to revise vocabulary

Wireframes

After creating the users I began to create some sketches and later go users to test the prototype. I used Prott to create the interactive prototype. Something that I struggled with was finding a way to combine the different ways of learning vocabulary (e.g. through music, flashcards and news articles)  and vocabulary topics (e.g. learning greetings, travel phrases etc) . I later realised that I could get the users to carry out these specific tasks in one step.  

Landing page and onboarding process 

Signing up with techEd

Onboarding 1 explaining how you can use techEd

Onboarding 2 select the language you want to learn and determine your level - either complete beginner or intermediate or advanced 

Enter email address or sign up with facebook or google 

Learning vocabulary through flashcards

Select learn and choose the topic your are interested in to practise vocabulary  and then you can choose how you want to learn vocabulary 

Flashcards method - choose a sub-topic based on the flashcard decks 

Flashcard selected 

Choose another way of learning vocabulary

Change Method: choose another way to learn vocabulary

Select choose another method 

Choose the way you want to learn vocabulary 


Music method 

Learning vocabulary through Music 


Learning through Music - select song 

Learn Lyrics and select revise vocabulary to learn vocabulary from the song 

Search for a word and see definition 

Users can search for any word in the language they are learning and find the definition of it. 

Select the search button and enter word 

search return 

definition of word and see how it's used in different contexts 

Revise Vocabulary: After learning a set of vocabulary users can revise it through doing a vocabulary test. 

list of vocabulary to revise before test 

select right answer 

listening comprehension aspect of test 

User Testing

The purpose of user testing for this early prototype was to assess the errors,  how well each task is completed and further improvements that could be made. 

​Scope I will be testing a vocabulary language learning app. the app is called Mind your language.

​Schedule Met with the three participants over the course of one week 

​Direct Tasks 

1) Choose the french language to learn 

2) Select the greetings topic to learn 

3) Select either the flashcards or music or the news/shows feed 

4) Revise and test words 

​All the tasks were carried out successfully but the users did give some feedback based on the layout of one of the screens. 

Suggested Improvements

Profile Improvement: Before (the left), After (the right) 

The users' feedback on the profile page was based on the layout. They felt it was "too busy". I redesigned the menu to present the distinct elements on the page.

Reflections and Opportunities

This was my first UX project. It was an introduction to the UX process; I used a lean UX method to achieve quick results. It was a very fun project to start with and implement human design centred principles. I think the challenge was definitely not having the time to go back and iterate as much as I would have liked because of the length of the project and its nature. An area for future improvement and opportunity is to create a high fidelity prototype and further design the revising and testing feature of vocabulary to keep users incentivised. .

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