Introduction 

StudyBuddy is a vocabulary app that I created when I was enrolled in the UX Design Course at CareerFoundry.

​StudyBuddy is an app that is aimed at busy students for studying on the go. It provides users with the ability to add in their own vocabulary paired with customized reminders to achieve the best learning schedule. The app also allows users to see their progress as they study which can provide insight on adjusting a learning routine.



The Objective

How can a mobile app motivate users to learn new vocabulary?


My Role

For this project, my role was to explore the problem at hand, conduct research to understand
the needs of users, create proto-personas, and develop user flows and a prototype to create a positive experience while learning vocabulary.



Tools: Marvel, Figma

 

Competitor Analysis

I conducted a competitor analysis between three other vocabulary apps to further explore the
objective. The apps were Magoosh, Lingvist, and Vocabulary.

Takeaways:

 

  • Vocabulary is provided and users cannot input their own words to learn.

  • Users had to make an account to save their progress which can hinder those on the go.

  • Some navigation was confusing and it was hard to know what to learn first.

User Research

Interviews were performed after the analysis to better understand a user's
attitude towards vocabulary apps. Interviews were conducted using well thought out
questions that did not promote any bias.

Takeaways:

 

  • Users learned vocabulary best by being exposed to the words repetitively.

  • Users felt overwhelmed with information when learning new terms.

User Persona

After conducting various interviews, I was able to get a better idea of the common frustrations, needs, and goals of users. This allowed me to create a persona, Stephanie, which guided me through the design process.​​​​​​​

As the interviewees were mostly college students, I wanted my persona to reflect this. From my testing, I know users favored repetitive exposure and wanted to feel less overwhelmed. This is why daily reminders and organization are some of Stephanie's goals.

User Stories

Using my persona as a guide, I was able to use Stephanie's goals and needs to create
user stories for what she would want to accomplish in the app.

 

User Flow & Task Analysis

After determining the goals for my user persona, I chose two of the most important tasks my
persona would have to complete in the app. Then, I identified the entry point and success
criteria for each task and began to sketch out user flows.

Sketching and Wireframing

Using my user flows and task analysis that I created, I was able to begin paper sketches
of individual screens. Then, I was able to develop wireframes and finally a low fidelity
prototype.

Usability Testing

After creating a low-fidelity prototype, I performed user testing. The testing was done in person
on five participants for 10-15 minutes each using their mobile phones. Participants were assigned
three tasks and the Jacob Nielsens Error Severity Rating Scale was used to group their observations.

Takeaways:

  • Users had trouble navigating the app.

  • Users were stuck at a screen with no way to "go back".

  • Users were confused on how to add flashcards.
     

Using these takeaways, I added a back button, a menu, and an option to add flashcards
to improve my designs.

High Fidelity Wireframes

Challenges & Next Steps

Challenges during the design process included:
 

  • Focusing too much on the details and not the overall flow of the app

  • Trying to incorporate every recommendation during testing to the app

  • Crafting better user interview questions for more in depth knowledge into the problem and getting the feedback needed

Overcoming these challenges made me learn that focusing too much on the details can lead to neglecting other aspects of the design such as usability. Also, that designs are supposed to be user-centered and not user-led so not every recommendation needs to be implemented. Finally, it is important to practice writing user interview questions to uncover helpful insights into the problem.


Next steps include retesting the high fidelity prototype to see if it meets the needs of users.

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©2020 by Sonali Patel.