I helped create a reading app that teaches English to children from non-English speaking homes to make up for the nationwide shortage of qualified English Language Learning educators in the United States. The team and I did this by identifying holes in the education system, defining business impact and user needs, and creating a fun, interactive, uncomplicated user interface that both children and parents could enjoy outside of the classroom.

Under-Resourced Students in the United States

Our solution: giving English Language Learners equitable tools to succeed

Our app, Little U, is an equitable solution to ensure children from non-English speaking homes have equal access to both tools and opportunities in the United States.

Intelligent, Creative, Overwhelmed

Children Persona

The children are highly intelligent, technologically savvy, and motivated yet they have difficulty staying engaged in class due to the lack of resources and thoughtful, robust programs needed for English Language Learners. Smartphones and tablets set in their native language with parent supervision are prominent at home and are used mainly as entertainment for the children.

Parent Persona

The parents are also learning English and have a busy work schedule supporting the family so time and confidence in their own English skills prevent additional language practice at home.

The Goal — A two-week sprint to build a clickable prototype and additional coding portion

My Contribution

  • Visual Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Interaction Design
  • Navigational Design
  • SwiftUI Coding Portion

Constraints & Roadblocks

  • Class project with artificial scenarios
  • Food poisoning
  • Eviction
  • Short timeline

Week One —

User Research: Interviews, surveys, affinity mapping

Our team conducted research that included five user interviews

We discovered some common themes amongst the interviewees:

  • The importance of a routine
  • Concerns about too much screen time
  • More cultural representation
  • Bonding with children
  • Constructive time spent versus entertainment with no value

Assessing the current market

Analyzing direct and indirect competitors helped us begin to shape how we wanted our app to be structured, what interactive elements did or did not work, what feature set we needed to prioritize, and the visual design.

Competitor analysis

We agreed that our app needed youthful visuals and colors, intuitive onboarding and navigation, and interactive elements to keep the user engaged and motivated throughout the journey.

User flow and critical path

One of our iterated user flows.

Week Two —

Landscape orientation?

I began low-fidelity prototypes entirely in landscape orientation but we ultimately decided against it after user testing. We did, however, choose to keep the reading portion in landscape.

Lo-fi prototyping in landscape

Lo-fi Frames with landscape orientation

Mid-fi prototype with user feedback

Feedback on the mid-fidelity prototypes from user testing.

Navbar iterations throughout the project

We iterated a number of times on the navbar trying to decide how to display a translation button.

Round two of user testing

We conducted more user tests with the hi-fidelity prototype and made more iterations to improve the initial walkthrough, user flow, and reorganizing some navigational elements.

Hi-fidelity prototypes were simplified with:

  • Fewer colors
  • More whitespace
  • Uniformed iconography
  • More obvious interactive signifiers

Home screen iterations - Lo-fi, Mid-fi, Hi-fi

Home Screen Iterations: Lo-fidelity (top), Mid-fidelity (bottom left), Hi-fidelity (bottom right)

Parent account screen iterations - Lo-fi, Mid-fi, Hi-fi

Parent Account Screen Iterations: Lo-fidelity (top), Mid-fidelity (bottom left), Hi-fidelity (bottom right)

Coding with SwiftUI

I spent the last day learning SwiftUI and completing the coding portion of the project by creating fully-functional onboarding screens.

Using SwiftUI to code the onboarding screens.

Key hi-fi frames for the user's critical path to reading

A few of our highlighted hi-fidelity frames

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