Why a Language App?
Language learning apps are some of the most downloaded apps on the market to the point that Duolingo, is the most downloaded Education app on the Google Play store in Canada, Germany, and England (source) and ranked in the top 100 most downloaded apps on the Google Play store in the USA, France, German, and Canada (source). Even though these apps are so popular, 90 percent of language learning takes place offline (source). Why is this? It's because these apps focus on vocabulary mastery and grammar but don't practice other skills like speaking and writing.
Learning languages has always been a passion of mine. JeParle is a mock-up app that I created using the knowledge and skills that I gained from work experience and knowledge of UX. In this case study you will find the methods that I followed in the design process when designing this mock-up.
Design Goals
  • Design 3 sections for the app to practice skills that are mostly practiced offline. Sections consist of Grammar (Study), Speaking (messaging), and Listening (podcasts).

  • Validate prototype and goals met through User Testing.

Problem Statement
  • Give users easy access to study material to topics of interest that are otherwise used offline.


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UX Designer

User Research
I wanted to research what features to include in jeParle and best serve the user. I focused my research on learning languages and how it best serves the user.
I also researched competitor apps to understand what works well and their weaknesses. This would allow me to understand what features user's desire and don't like in the current market.
For this project, I conducted two tests. The first was a user interview in which I asked the users what their language learning habits are and overall impression on other apps . After collecting the data from the interview, I conducted a user survey asking users how important certain features are in a language app.
The demographic I chose for these tests were college students (aged 18-25) who already speak more than 1 foreign language. I chose this demographic because I wanted to survey students who already speak a foreign language and have experience using language apps. I found students on social media (Reddit and Twitter). The sample size of the interviews and survey were 32 and 20 respectively.

Research Findings

The user interviews consisted of asking the respondents the following questions:
  • How do you study foreign languages? What methods and/or tools do you use?

  • What are some of your biggest challenges when learning a language? What do you do to overcome it?

  • What makes language learning so enjoyable to you?

Many of the participates concluded the biggest struggles on language apps are that they focus on grammar and vocabulary but don't allow users to practice other crucial skills like speaking and writing, instrumental to learning a language.
“I live in Cleveland, Ohio and there just aren't many French native speakers. I have to try really hard to find language partners via messaging apps like Hellotalk just to get practice in. It's discouraging and sometimes makes me feel like I live in the wrong place."
When researching competitors, I found three apps language learners use to learn the sought after skills they need: Anki (vocabulary), Hellotalk (speaking, writing), and Duolingo (grammar. To get a sense of what the users wanted, I looked at Google Play reviews as well as asked users in the interview process to get what they like and disliked about the apps.
The research findings concluded that users want an app to be interactive and challenging. Interactive were it feels real like they are talking to an actual person and practicing what they already learned and also challenging to learn new things. This would be achieved by centering the app on the messaging, grammar assessments and podcast.
User Flows
For the User Flows, I wanted to show a roadmap as to how to navigate through the app. The idea was to have a visual presentation and to see if some features required too many pages to toggle. I was happy with the outcome as no section seem to require too many toggles.
I created two personas based on two types of users for the app. The student and working professional.


To help conceptualize ideas for the app, I drew  UX sketches to provide a visual of what was going to be communicated with each given interface. This also assisted me to understand  how to present certain features for the app.  

Home Dashboard
Podcast Dashboard
Podcast Player
Chat Dashboard
After the high fidelity-design was complete and the components/interactions were installed on the prototype, I wanted to get feedback on the user experience and see if there were any areas to improve on the design.
User Testing
When doing a user test, I wanted to be sure to choose users who not only have used language learning apps but also spoke other languages at various language levels. Below you will see the profile of each user that tested the app.
User #1
  • Speaks 2 languages.
  • Used language apps to learn their 2nd language.
  • Uses Quizlet and other study apps for other topics.
User #2
  • Speaks 3 languages.
  • Learned languages from immersion methods.
  • Is a foreign language professor
User #3
  • Speaks 5 languages.
  • Learned languages from apps and immersion method.
  • is a UI/UX Designer and understands interface design.
I showed each user the prototype and asked them 3 open ended question and one closed question:
  • How was navigating on the app? Was it easy to find what you were looking for and did you ever feel lost?
  • How was the coloring and typography? Did you feel anything felt out of place or unpleasant?
  • Would you change anything about the design or add any features to the app?
Below is a sample of some of the responses:

“I like the colors you chose. Its really pleasant on the eye”

“You should add some more vector icons next to the categories.”
“A lot of apps focus on word to word translation. Its great you illustrate images so it keeps them in the language.”
Users appreciated the color palette and typography but suggested some UX adjustments were needed such as adding more details to the podcast section to understand better what they would be listening to.
The User Testing proved to be a great success and gave me insight to some changes that made after the tests.
Home Dashboard
Media Player
  • JeParle was born out of a personal passion for learning languages. The process of doing user interviews opened my eyes to other learners' needs when it comes to language apps. While the learners had different motivations and goals for learning a particular language, they shared the challenge of accessing tools to practice speaking and writing skills.

  • As a next step, I want to explore the impact of improving discoverability for learners' topics of interest. Some ideas include adding a search bar or tagging. I believe that learners will be more motivated and engaged to practice by connecting learners with materials related to their interests.