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Enhancing Memory

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The Problem

Learning another language is a widespread goal nowadays. But once you are familiar with a language, what is the best way to increase your vocabulary? The main challenge in this project was to develop an app that would allow potential users to expand their vocabulary on a specific subject in an efficient and fun way.

The Hypothesis

After a few research iterations, a hypothesis was established: Potential users need to be exposed to new vocabulary with optimal regularity because memorizing words depends on the frequency of exposure.

The Context

MEMO was a personal project I developed as part of my UX Design course at CareerFoundry. I worked on the project for one month. The main goal was to deliver wireframes and mid-resolution mockups.

Competitors Analysis

To understand the problem at hand, I needed to take a look at the solutions available in the market. I group the competitors according to the users' goals:
 

  • To learn a new language.

  • To increase your vocabulary in a language, you already know.

  • To increase jargon or vocabulary particular to a specific discipline.

Quizlet
Word of the day

From the analysis, I defined the key features of MEMO:
 

  • Using or combining both optimal repetition time and notifications to improve the learning process and to increase engagement.

  • Different learning options such as card matching, multiple-choice, true/false, writing, speaking, or gaming.

  • Different options to generate terms using available audio and imaging capabilities such as scanning or dictating.

  • Using both progress tracking and user competitiveness to keep users motivated and engaged.

  • Creating a search tool that ranks decks and classes.

Users Interviews

The competitive analysis also helped me understand that the potential user would be primarily students, people who wanted to excel at a foreign language, or new employees who need it to familiarize themselves with the companies jargon. I interviewed five people to understand users' behavior, goals, and frustrations. Among the findings, the following were the most relevant:
 

  • Participants considered themselves visual learners.

  • They were committed to learning new vocabulary every week.

  • They did not have a solid system to memorize new vocabulary.

  • Some jobs required learning new vocabulary constantly.

  • They were frustrated with forgetting words they thought they already memorized.

User Interviews

Proto-Persona and User Flows

Due to the time constraints of the project, I was only able to develop a proto-persona. In Lester, I packed the most relevant insight from the interviews. Learning new vocabulary is of his top priorities, but he doesn’t have much time to invest in it.

Lester
Job Story

I developed user flows according to lester's needs and goals. A key task is to notify the users to refresh their memory with a term they want to memorize. None of the flashcard apps pushes notifications, which makes it a major differentiator for MEMO.

Task Flow

Wireframes and Mockups

These were the first sketches and wireframes I ever made. I created a few must-haves and things-to-avoid from my competitors' analysis and used them to build the wireframes. There is no much difference between the sketches and low-def mockups. I think this is because the ideas were very concise in my head from the beginning.

MEmo Wireframe 1.png

Usability Test

I developed and conducted tests with five participants, focusing on four primary tasks. Among findings, the most relevant was related to iconography. The icons were not of everyday use, and they couldn’t understand their meaning. Participants needed a more explicit indication of the action related to each button.

Test Plan
Test Report

HiFi Prototype

Based on the usability test results, I developed a HiFi Prototype. I designed the prototype using Material Design Guidelines.

Additionally, I created a small UI Elements library and the early stages of a Design Language System.

Onboarding 1.png

I introduced the idea of a mascot to make the experience more fun. I chose an elephant based on the old saying, "a memory like an elephant." I added a page control as a cue for the onboarding carrousel.

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I designed clear action buttons for saving the card sets, including a "saved" icon at the top of the screen to indicate that the set has been saved.

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I simplified the card design. The Term and the meaning are next to each other to save visual space. Similarly, I reduced the memory score to three levels, defined by a color code.

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I changed the memorability rates to make it easier for users to understand. It shows the total number of cards and the distribution based on memorability scores.

Dashboard 4.png

Now, more detailed graphics with a score table are presented when a user clicks on the memorability rates.

Games.png

I decided to bring more detail to the game's screen, making it look like a video game similar to Mario bros.

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Multiple choice is a game simple to play. For future designs, the mascot should be part of the game screens to keep the experience fun.

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Conclusions and next steps

MEMO’s design was successful at developing features that potential users considered essential to memorize new vocabulary. The main challenge was to make the experience more intuitive, making the app easier to navigate. Before handling the final design to the developing team, a new prototype must be created considering:
 

  • Developing the five games proposed for the prototype.


  • Developing the social feature to recreate the experience of interacting with other users and experts.

  • Manual testing of ideal frequency of notification for optimal memory retention.

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