For my graduate capstone project in Human-Computer Interaction and Design at the University of Washington, I worked with a group of three others over the course of four months to research and improve the experience of learning a second language for intermediate-level learners.
From our secondary research, it was clear that the market is saturated with many resources for beginning language learners. However, we learned through primary research that intermediate language learners—people who are already adept at reading and writing a second language—often struggle to improve their speaking ability because of lack of confidence and limited availability of native speakers.
To address this problem, we utilized a user-centered design process to define a problem space, conduct research, and develop a solution. The result is Dover, a language learning platform that pairs speaking practice with streaming media.
The act of watching TV and movies provides a private environment for practicing speaking, which is helpful for learners wanting to build confidence. Furthermore, it gives them context around phrases in a ways that traditional language exercises do not. Finally, it encourages repetitive practice, as learners have incentive to watch new episodes to advance the plot.
As the design lead, my role involved creating UI wireframes, task flows, visuals, prototypes, style guides, and branding. I also contributed to initial broad ideation and conducted qualitative research through subject matter expert interviews, analyzed the research data, and served as director and photographer of our concept video.