Vocapp

I created an application made to learn new words with games and flash cards within 3 weeks.
Starting with a competitor analysis I worked on this project up to a clickable low fidelity prototype.

 

My Role: UX Design student

Tools

Pen & Paper
Adobe XD


InDesign

Zoom

Illustrator

Photoshop

Marvel


Competitor Analysis

Because I know little about e-learning and language education, I dived into research and a competitive analysis for an overview. Studying the competitors helped me form the overall product strategy and discover valuable opportunities.


I examined three competitors:

1. “Babbel”, the market leader in E-learning

2. “Leo” a popular dictionary website well-known for its community and

3. “Memorion” an app I stumbled upon because of its high ratings and recommendations on the internet.

1. Babbel

Onboarding

Vocabulary

Learning Methods


PRO
- State of the art onboarding
- Questioning of Age and Learning Purpose
- Quick, smooth registration
- 7-day free trial
- 5 learning methods to choose from
- Small learning units

CON
- Mandatory to put down billing credit card or paypal account during registration process
- No community
- Costs after 7-day trial: 6,95 - 8,95 Euro mtly
- Too entertaining


Conclusion:
Babbel is a highly professional application. I appreciate the app asking its users about their goals, so the learning method and intensity can be adjusted. It's easy to navigate, looks fresh and inviting, and is entertaining because different learning methods are laid out for the user.

I have slight doubts if the app can convince as a learning app and not drift off to entertainment. And, unfortunately the app is not free although the pricing is moderate.

The biggest pain point for me is the registration process with mandatory credit card details and email verification, even for the free 7-day trial.

2. Leo

Start

Vocabulary

Learning Methods


PRO
- User-based dictionary included
- Different learning modes
- Phrases and expressions can be added too
- Audio for pronunciation
- Adding the word you looked up in the Leo-dictionary to your stack of flash cards
- Ready-to-use-stack of words available
- Simple app with 3 core functions (community, dictionary and training) for several languages
- Free of cost

- Community

CON
- No onboarding
- Redirection to website for registration.
- No explaination or onboarding of the app
- Special courses are chargeable

- Complicated interface

- No "back" button
- Bad recognition of typed in words (capitals are marked as mistakes)
- Out-dated, unpolished UI Design

- Advertising


Conclusion:
Leo is well-known for its dictionary and forum. I visit the website often when I am searchinf for an ideal translation, especially phrases and sayings.

Sadly, the application is confusing and could use improvements. The navigation is rough, the UI feels out-dated and unpolished. It reminds me of a Windows user interface with its folder-based structure.

Using the app is frustrating and if it wasn’t for the dictionary and forum I wouldn’t use it. Leo has a strong community and if the user has a deeper interest in the language it’s highly entertaining to have a closer look at this feature as it adds value to the application.

3. Memorion

Start

Flash Card

Learning Methods


PRO
- No registration
- 3 different levels: Beginner, Advanced, Expert
- Customisable flashcard stacks
- Easy to use with just one hand
- Audio and talk to speech
- Exact documentation of your progress
- Entertaining
- Detailed tutorial videos on Youtube
- Free
- No advertising

CON
- No onboarding
- Redirection to website for registration
- Overwhelmingly packed app

- Time-consuming to understand the app
- Too many features
- Very basic/technical design
- Navigation in English only


Conclusion:
Memorion is like a Swiss Army pocket knife. It has so many features that it‘s difficult to completely understand it at a glance. You could easily cut this app down to 4 or 5 individual ones.

The creator has put a lot of effort and thought into it. I enjoy trying out the different games, checking my improvment and switching levels seamlessly. For a full overview of the features there are several tutorials available on YouTube.


The downside is that the app is overloaded and the UI design is pretty basic. The application feels technical and heavy due to the dark background.


Empathy Map

I like convenient and simple learning techniques.”

Jan, 50

Customer Service Manager

Talking and conversation is the key.”

Elena, 38
Lawyer

 “I just wish I had more time.”

Carla, 47

Working Mom, Art Director

 



Carla, Working Mom

Doing…
I am busy trying to keep job and family together.


I use flash cards to memorize new words.


I listen to BBC radio in the morning.

Thinking…
I wish I had more time to learn new words.

I think the best method to learn is a small learning group.

I think I am a slow learner.

Feeling…
I’m always stressed and don’t have much time.

Using new words in my everyday life is a challenge.

It’s a great feeling doing something just for myself and not my job or family.



Jan, Customer Service Manager

Doing…
I spend a great deal of the day talking on the phone.

I learn through practice and repetition.

I like to use new technology.

Thinking…
I think it’s hard for me to find time.

I like easy solutions.

I think it will become easier to communicate without learning because of Google Translate and  innovations to come.

Feeling…
I forget newly learned words easily.

I should bring up more time to learn new words.

Looking back and seeing your
progress is very uplifting.




Elena, Lawyer

Doing…
I just practice and try to use the new vocabulary as often as possible.

I watch series in a foreign language with subtitles to get a feel for it.

I use new words regularly.

Thinking…
I think being able to communicate in another language will make me look even more professional.

I think it’s a good way to connect with others fast.

I think it should be fun to learn new words.

Feeling…
I feel empowered when I can
use my new skills.

Learning new things is good for your brain.

I believe learning new words is easier if you aren't afraid of making mistakes.



User Persona

Problem Statement

Felix needs a way to learn new words easily because he works for international, English speaking clients and wants to give a professional impression. He lives a busy life and can’t concentrate for a longer period of time. He needs short, repetitive tasks wit measurable results to stay motivated.

Sitemap

Design Process: Design

First Low Fidelity Prototype

After research, interviewing, and creating user personas I sketched a low-fi prototype to get a better understanding of the application and locate possible pain points and errors.

Design Process: Test

Usability Testing

I focused on the schedule settings and the general usage of the marked flash cards.

From mypoint of view, two features are important for this application:
1. A very good schedule and settings for time & date
2. Easy and entertaining to operate

Three participants with different backgrounds took part in a moderated user testing with the low fi protoype.

 

The test results show that the participants struggle with the navigation bar, weak or misleading phrases and user-unfriendly button sizes. The feedback went into the second prototype.



Design Process: Design

Revised Low Fidelity Prototype

Taking the results into consideration I adjusted the prototype to improve the overall interface and encourage the users to interact with the application. The navigation bar didn’t follow a clear hierarchy and had too many irrelevant actions. This was hard for me to understand at first.

 

Improvements

- Skip Option during Onboarding

- Refined Sign-Up with more Options and explanatory text

- Edited Dashboard

- Redesigned Schedule Settings for better usability

- New Navigation

- Consistently using one wording

The Take Away

From my point of view the second protoype is a big step forward, although I am sure the app would get better and more refined the more time and effort you put into it.