Over one month I completed end-to-end design on an early stage prototype for a vocabulary learning app. With medical professionals as the target users, I conducted primary and evaluative research of an app inspired by the principle of associative learning.
UX Designer and Researcher
- Information architecture,
- Competitive analysis,
- User research,
- Usability testing
Perform competitive analysis and user research
Design the low-fidelity prototype for a mobile app
Conduct first-round usability testing based on prototype
Career professionals in technical fields are continuously learning jargon and technical language, especially in healthcare settings. Web searches are easily forgotten and don’t leave a trace. Context, however, is everything.
What if there were a learning app based on associating terminology with user notes and contextual indicators?
Phase 1: Research
Competitive analysis of vocabulary learning apps suggested integrating the following key features:
- intuitive and familiar interface with minimal onboarding
- fully and immediately functional to first time users
In user interviews and surveys, health science professionals described the challenge of learning terminology at work. Most indicated the lack of any system for doing so.
A proto-persona was developed based on user research.
Phase 2: Design
The user flow with its many decision points reflects the user's power to create a bespoke glossary of personally significant terms and associations.
The wireframes reflect a constructivist approach to learning:
- new user opens app to a clean but empty UI
- user adds content: terminology, notes, images
- user builds associations between terms and notes using tags (e.g., people, place, date)
Phase 3: Evaluation
For usability testing, the fundamental consideration was to find role-matched, authentic potential users of the app: health science professionals. Through my personal network, I connected with:
- a doctor
- a nurse
- a nurse practitioner
- a health policy specialist
Usability testing was highly productive, revealing several major usability issues. Download the full usability testing report, including the script, scenarios and notes.
The challenge in this project was limiting the scope of work. Fully realized, this project would likely require cognitive scientists, computer scientists, experts in visualization.
The lesson for me as a future UX designer and researcher is to narrow my focus and recognize the limits of what is achievable given realistic constraints of time, money, resources.
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