Learning Spanish is an ongoing app project that will offer people a simple way to learn a new language. This app is especially appropriate for people who do not have enough time or money to go to class. For the moment, as its name indicates this app project is only focused on teaching Spanish.
Mastering a new language is a challenging activity that you will not achieve by divine inspiration. You will need a lot of time and patience to accomplish it but, unfortunately, not everybody has enough time and patience.
The main goal is to help busy people learn a language in an enjoyable way and at any time.
T-shape designer. For this project our team is composed of Miguel
and I. Miguel will be more focused on research, conducting interviews
and usability tests. I will help him in the research, but I will be more focused on the visual design and the content writing.
This project has started some months ago.
Adobe XD, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Flaticon, Miro, Unsplash, Icons8, Color.adobe, Contrast-ratio.
Before starting the project, Miguel and I set up a meeting for designing the different stages of the project. This first meeting took place in “La Taberna del Herrero“, the favorite bar of Miguel.
The meeting was great. We ate a delicious paella and decided to divide the research into two parts; first, a primary research where we collected information from users directly and then a secondary research where we got the information from sources such as books, articles and journals.
Miguel will be in charge of the primary research and I will lead the secondary research. When we finish our tasks, we will come back to “La taberna del Herrero” to analyze our collected data and to eat another paella.
On the internet I found an interesting study about the main motivations of Chinese students for learning Spanish. Through this link you can read the whole study.
Lu, X., Zheng, Y., & Ren, W. (2019). Motivation for Learning Spanish as a Foreign Language: The Case of Chinese L1 Speakers at University Level. Círculo de Lingüística Aplicada a la Comunicación, 79, 79-98.
I read several articles about people who are into learning Spanish. I especially liked this article written by ralvarezt for the blog of Cervantes Institute in London two years ago.
Every year the Cervantes Institute publishes a report which explains the current state of the Spanish language in the world. In order to read the report you can click on this link.
Ten days after the first meeting, Miguel and I planned a second meeting in order to analyze all of the information collected during our research. Based on this data we created two different user personas. As we had done on previous occasions, when we finished our work, we ate paella again.
User Persona 1
Melinda is a primary school teacher who tries to learn Spanish in order to be able to speak with her family in-laws.
User Persona 2
Donald is a housing counselor that studies Spanish in order to offer a better service to his Spanish clients.
Preparing the Design
In the UX Design Google course that I took I learned a fast and funny method to create possible ideas for every project. The method is called Crazy Eights and it is a modern technique that helps generate a wide variety of solutions in only eight minutes.
You have eight minutes to sketch eight distinct ideas on a piece of paper. Don’t worry if your sketches are not perfect. The most important thing is to communicate your solutions in a comprehensible way.
After completing the Crazy Eigths phase, Miguel and I chose sketches which could better convey our design intentions. Then, I developed those ideas through wireframes.
I do not consider myself to be an expert in prototyping. In the past, before the UX Design gained presence whitin the Digital ecosystem, prototyping was a unknown practise, at least for me. As times have recently changed, this technique is now key to understanding the type of functionality that your design requires. In this specific case I created a basic interaction flow composed of six screens.
Every day, new trends in designing try to catch our attention. One day the trending topic will be the “Glassmorphism“, another day it will be the “Retro Aesthetic“, and the next day maybe they will come up with a new concept called “Castejonism“. Following all the new trends is a very tiring activity that can drive you crazy, but don’t you think that you need a little bit of craziness to keep your dreams alive?
Putting color and text to the wireframes means you have reached the mockup phase. Here, you will get an early idea of the design’s purpose. Maybe the final result will not be exactly the same, but it will look a lot like it.
One thing both Miguel and I have clear is to try to simplify the content writing as much as possible, because the users want to make the most of their time and if they spend too much time reading long and tedious instructions it is probably that they don’t enjoy using the app.
Once you have created your first mockups the next step would be to transform them into interactive elements that allow you to navigate from one screen to another. The objective is that the users enjoy a comfortable experience when they test the prototype.
The results of the first usability test were not as positive as we had hoped. Based on user testing feedback, there could be less scrolling through screens to achieve their goal. This will be implemented in future iterations.
I chose the red one and the yellow one as principal colors of my palette. I selected these colors inspired by the Spanish flag. I think this combination transmits power and liveliness. My choice for the typeface was Tahoma because it conveys a modern touch and has excellent readability.
Does the ASO provide the happiness? that is the million dollar question. According to Miguel, my partner for this project, a good ASO strategy can make the difference between success and failure. For this reason both Miguel and I are taking a brief on-line course about this topic. Our intention, once the app is finished, is to apply this knowledge in order to increase the visibility of “Learning Spanish” in the app stores.
*App Store Optimization (ASO) is a tactic that improves an app’s visibility in an app store.
I hope this project moves forward and helps people from all over the world to learn Spanish. Currently, millions of people try to learn Spanish every year, however the majority of them don’t find neither time nor enough motivation to learn it properly. I think this app can be really useful and very easy to use for everybody because it will allow them to set their study goals according to their schedule and needs.
What I am learning
Mainly, working on this project is teaching me to improve my teamwork skills. Miguel and I make a good team because both of us have different professional backgrounds that provide us mutual enrichment and offer us a wide range of perspectives when we must make decisions. It might sound like a cliche, but I think this professional relationship could become the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
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