UX Fundamentals

Capstone Project | CareerFoundry

Mobile application for learning vocabulary. 
This exercise is to redesign the experience of memorizing and understanding new concepts, techniques, and terms by exploring how people learn vocabulary and designing a mobile app to address their goals and problems. Vocabulary learning ranges from learning words for a new language to saving key terms from a business or UX design course. 
1. Understand.
Competitive Analysis:
I identified 3 mobile applications, namely, DuolingoBabble and Drops that focus on learning a new language. To stay consistent, I decided to learn Spanish through all those app and discover and understand how some of the top rated language learning mobile applications are designed in terms of User experience.

I studied several screen-shots that illustrate not only the experience and flow of the mobile apps, but also, visual communication, branding and interactive elements that enhance the user experience.
In conclusion, each of the applications I studied, has it’s positives and pitfalls. While some of them were easier to use than the others, the others have pleasing interactions and maybe visually more interesting. However, in conclusion, I think Duolingo is the most successful in terms of product design.
2. Observe.
As apart of the observation exercise, I identified 3 different users to interview. The goal was to gain insights into the needs and wants of users so that you may better design your app. I created an interview script, and interviewed each of the candidates to understand and observe their reactions to learning experiences and my questions.
In summary, I combined all my noted and findings into three different categories of reactions, namely, 
1. Doing- What &Why the user takes certain actions. 
2. Feeling- How & Why the user feels or experiences.
3. Thinking - What & Why the user believes in.
User Interview 1.
User Interview 2.
User Interview 3.
3. Point of View.
I combined all my findings from the User Interviews conducted and filtered it down to one proto-persona that represents the best kind of user for the application I would like to develop.
To determine what Riti wants to accomplish, I created 2 semantic frameworks, namely, User Stories and Job Stories to focus on defining functions and solutions from her perspective.
User Stories helped translate her needs into functional requests for features, and Job Stories helped focus on answering the question “why” in regards to a particular situation or motivation. 
User Stories:
“As a Designer handling several projects at the same time, I want to cut down on redundant communication between team members,
meet my personal and team goals and project deadlines, without compromising on the quality of work.”
“As a busy professional, I want to find time to learn on the go.”
“As a Californian, I want to socially interact with the local Chinese community, to revise and practice my language skills.”
Job Stories:
“When I travel to China, I want to be able to communicate with all my co-workers– be it at the manufacturing unit, counter-partpeers, the developing team or my supervisors– with relevant industry specific and/or technical terminology.”
“When I travel for professional or personal reasons to China, I want to be able to get around, find basic things, communicate with the locals as well as my co-workers in a social environment in their language.”
“When a line of communication starts within my team of developers, I want the communication to be seamless and clear.”
By using these frameworks, I was able to formulate a formal Problem Statement and Hypothesis that allowed me to feel more confident that this product was solving real problems for real people, and helped me to move forward with the design and development process.
PROBLEM STATEMENT
Riti needs access to a plethora of words to improve her language and communication skills, on the go, to effectively accomplish tasks with her team of developers in China. She also needs to improve on her skills by using it on a social basis.
HYPOTHESIS
We believe that by designing an application that use Flashcards for basic language skills, Machine Translation for translating sentences as a whole, and a technical dictionary to translate industry specific and technical terminologies, we will add productivity to Riti’s professional life, while building her Chinese language skills and improving her travel experiences within China.
4. Ideate.
Identifying the main tasks Riti would need to complete to accomplish her goal, I visualized how I would expect for her to move through the information space of the app, via user flows.
Tasks and User flows:
5. Wireframing & Prototyping.
Now that I had identified a persona, problem, and the primary tasks along with the user flows necessary to reach a potential solution, I sketched low fidelity wireframes for the app.
Wireframes
Onboarding
Register / Log In
Setting a goal.
Getting Started
Learning a Set (Food)
Achievement + Adding a new set.
Profile, Setting & Connect
Prototype:
I used the lo-fi wireframe and Prott App to build a lo-fi prototype for usability testing. 
6. Usability Testing.
I wanted to gather real user feedback on the wireframes and prototypes before putting too much time and too many resources into developing high-fidelity, polished designs. 
I build a complete usability test plan before moving ahead, which included writing out expected tasks, creating a test script, and having a clear idea of how and where to take notes. I choose to conduct moderated in-person usability tests with 3 different potential users.
Moderated test results:
Participant 1.
Participant 2.
Participant 3.
All the information gained from a usability test was summarized as part of a usability test report. The usability testing turned out to be an essential part of the design process to validate (or invalidate) decisions I made as a designer.
7. Conclusion.
To summarize, I have learnt that designers must be savvy storytellers and presenters in order to convince current and potential stakeholders that a particular design decision is not only correct, but worth their time and resources. 
As a designer, I found myself involved, from initial research findings to testing results and final design decisions. This gave many opportunities to share the exciting things I uncovered about users and help others understand the needs, pain points, and solutions for real people impacted by a product or service. In this exercise, I learnt that I can advocate for the user as well as the stakeholders, sharing success stories about the impact a product can make on real human lives.
Thank you.
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