SpeakEasy is a vocabulary flashcard app that offers its users different study modes, interactive exercises, and the possibility to write and upload flashcards to keep them motivated to improve their language skills daily.
SpeakEasy was part of my Introduction to UX Design Course with Career Foundry (and my first-ever UX-Design Project).
My role: User Research, Usability Testing, UX/UI Design
Tools: Pen & Paper, Zoom, Adobe XD (Wireframes), Marvel, Figma (Hi-Fi Prototype)
How might we design a mobile app that empowers people to learn new vocabulary?
Providing different learning modes, and playful interactive exercises, allowing users to write and upload their own examples, will lead to a growing interest to learn with SpeakEasy and the motivation to practice daily.
· flashcard app
· 4,6/5 Stars
· > 10M downloads
Quizlet seems to be more suitable for teachers and their students, so teachers can create vocabulary sets according to the topics they talk about in class, but it doesn‘t feel like a good fit for someone who just wants to learn a language on their own and follow a program. So it‘s a very good app for any kind of study group.
· flashcard app
· 4,8/5 Stars
· > 500K downloads
Lexilize is a very practical app without any unnecessary emotional content. The user can get straight to learning and repeating words and keep track of their performance. So it is a good fit for anyone who just wants to learn vocabulary with flashcards and without any distractions.
· flashcard app
· 4,7/5 Stars
· > 1M downloads
WordUp tells the user the level of their vocabulary and compares it to a native speaker, which can be very interesting for competitive personalities and those who like praise. So it motivates the user to keep working. (But the estimates of the user's vocabulary seem very unscientific and not trustworthy to me.)
I conducted interviews with four participants, asking them about their experiences with vocabulary apps and learning new languages. I categorized the insights I got:
· I like being part of a group.
· I enjoy practicing a new language by talking to people, especially native speakers.
· I like to use the time I spend on the train or bus to read or practice vocabulary
· I write things down to remember them better.
· I come up with examples to remember new words better.
· I repeat new words regularly.
· I feel frustrated when I can’t find a specific word I have written down in my notebook.
· I feel ashamed to ask when I can’t keep up with a discussion with native speakers.
· I feel judged when talking to native speakers.
· I need something or someone to hold me accountable to stay on track.
· I want to practice my new language skills /vocabulary on a regular basis.
· I believe, that having a native speaker to talk to and give me direct feedback is the best way to learn a new language.
· I think a vocabulary app can be helpful.
· I believe a vocabulary app can be a great substitute for handwritten flashcards.
· I think it’s fun to practice vocabulary with an app if there are playful tests.
Based on the data I collected I created a proto-persona as well as user stories and job stories.
Occupation: Project Manager
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Languages: German (native), English, little Spanish and French
· works in an advertising agency full-time
· interested in music, fashion, art, and travel
· is social and outgoing
· also makes time to relax and recharge
· tries to exercise regularly
· loves using apps for many things, like meditation, cycle-tracking, fitness, and of course social media (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
· uses the time she spends on the train on her way to and from work to read, catch up with correspondence, or learn vocabulary
NEEDS & GOALS
· wants to be able to have conversations with locals when traveling
· needs examples of how to use words to remember them better
· needs a little motivation and praise when learning new things
· wants to keep track of her progress
· needs little reminders to stay on track
· needs things to be engaging to stay interested
· needs to hear and practice the correct pronunciation of words
As someone who is almost always busy, I want to learn new vocabulary in a way I can easily and effortlessly integrate into my everyday life, so I don’t feel overwhelmed.
As someone who wants to grow, I want to know that I’m doing something good for myself to stay motivated.
As a creative person, I want to use an app that allows me to upload my own notes, examples, and maybe even pictures, so I can memorize words better.
As someone who tends to get distracted, I want the app to offer different ways of learning words, so it doesn’t become boring.
As a results-oriented person, I want to keep track of my progress and know where I’m at to have a realistic estimate of my skill level.
When I’m talking to a native speaker, I want to be able to look up a word quickly and easily, to keep the conversation going.
When I have a little time spontaneously, I want to have the possibility to do little quick exercises, that I can end whenever I want to.
When I struggle with certain words, I want to have a system that repeats them as often as I need to memorize them.
Julia (Project Manager) needs a way to easily incorporate learning vocabulary into her everyday life without being overwhelmed because her workdays can be very busy and long. We will know this to be true when we see that Julia uses the app to practice at least every other day for a while.
We believe that by providing different learning modes, playful interactive exercises, the possibility to write and upload your own examples, and also the chance to communicate with other users, we will achieve a growing interest to learn with our app and a motivation to regularly practice.
Task 1: Create Account
Task 2: Complete Assessment quiz
I created my first interactive prototype with these wireframes, so I could finally test SpeakEasy's basic functionality and features.
I let 3 people complete 5 tasks while telling me all their thoughts and suggestions, so I could find out what needed to be changed. I used Jacob Nielsen's error severity rating scale to determine the most important problems. For example:
Error rating 4 (Usability Catastrophe):
· "Study"-Icon not understandable
· Icons don't change states when active
· no articles in german translation
Error rating 3 (major usability problem):
· no audio
· "Take 1st quiz"-button is confusing
· no hints while studying flashcards
No issues with signing up, logging in, or adding new flashcards.
I revised the wireframes and prototype, based on the usability test results:
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