In the glabalized world in which we live, more and more people are moving for work in a foreign country, travelling or having to communicate with other states. According to a “Washinton Post” study, circa 50% of the world’s population speaks two languages fluently.
The challange to face on this project was designing an app that allow users to learn new words in a simple way, by use an intuitive and memorable app that would allow users to study anywhere (at home, on the way to work, on the train) for about 10 min every day.
With WorkD app, users can to develop their personal vocabulary by following their own attitudes and passions, but especially by following their own needs. Our interviews showed that most users had to learn a language for work and it was difficult for them to learn new words for a particular field at first.
WorkD was created to support this need for “new words for work”.
Role: User Experience Researcher, UX Analyst, Product designer, User Experience Strategist
Client: Career Foundry
Duration: February-July 2020 (5 months)
Tools: Adobe XD, Adobe Photoshop, Balsamiq, Optimal Sort, Usability Hub
Phases of the project
through design thinking
I decided begin the studied to analyse three possible competitors on the market: Memrise, Duolinguo and Mondly:
The application has some very interesting contents, starting from the possibility to interact with videos of real people. Thus users can hear the real accent of the language, with cadences and accents.
The organisation of the lessons and the interface is a bit confusing and unfriendly. Buttons take up most of the available space and the color palette is unattractive.
The application has several points in its favour. The interface is very simple and intuitive, even for those unfamiliar with smartphones. It is easy to navigate and the graphics make the user experience very pleasant. You get the feeling that it is very easy to learn a language, even if it is not. The problem with this application is that often the exercises are very repetitive and there are no bonuses that tempt users to do more.
I think the application is the most complete of the three. The choice of exercises is very good and wide, the starting levels are many. The graphics are very well cared for and users really have the feeling of improving, the graphs help to have this perception.
For inexperienced users, this could be a drawback because they could lose out on the large amount of exercises available. The feeling is that you have to spend a lot of time learning the language and not all users have this time available.
After completing the analysis of our competitors, I conducted 4 interviews with four participants who used some apps in the past to learn a new vocabulary.
The participants were 75% women and 25% men between 32 and 37 years old. 100% of the respondents were expatriates who had to learn one or more languages for work.
The interviews took place in Moderated In-Person and each session lasted about 15/20 min.
The data collecting during the interviews allow me to created Claudia, my user persona.
User persona helped me to have a hypotetical user as a starting point of the project and design the structure of the app based on her needs
Hypothesis statement format
We believe that we can create an application that can follow Claudia’s very busy lifestyle.
The application should be simple and tailored to her work needs, so it could refer to the acquisition of a dictionary specific to her work position, based a lot on learning by listening.
With this application we would like to allow Claudia to make her study a daily routine, making sure that she can reconcile studying well with her busy life.
With the creation of our user person and having defined one of our typical users, I decided to unravel a quick sketch for the creation of the first drafts of the project.
from the first drafts we then moved on to the definition of the prototype in middle and high fidelity.
Test the theories
Through the usability tests I want to check through a prototype the usability and memorability of the product, involving participants. Participants will be given 5 scenario tasks to complete and will be asked to give their impressions.
Usability test – result
Below you could find some examples of interface improvements
I have been very enthusiastic and dedicated a lot to this project. I was very involved in the initial part, where I had to interview people and understand the direction to follow to develop the project. During the usability test, one of the participants immediately understood the functionality of the app and I think it was the most proud moment for me.
I found it very difficult to initially find a suitable target audience for the interviews. I have to pay much more attention in the future to the grammar and sentence composition for the creation of the prototypes and to insert the guides to go back to the previous screen.