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OVERVIEW

Conversaid helps people communicate with locals in a foreign country and overcome language barriers while abroad.

The goal of this project was to design a better experience for a speak and translate app by improving upon current apps in both usability and visuals, as well as solving for user problems identified by research.

Timeline
Jan 2019 – March 2019

Class
Interface Design I

Individual Project

PROBLEM

Traveling abroad can be intimidating, frustrating, and scary due to language and culture differences. Current ways of overcoming language barriers, such as pointing and acting or asking around for anyone who can understand, are sometimes ineffective and often put travelers in a vulnerable position. Travelers need an easier way to navigate an unfamiliar place and culture.

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SOLUTION

Conversaid is an app that makes it easier for travelers to have more natural, streamlined conversation with locals in foreign countries. Conversaid provides the user with different contextual tools such as images and maps, allows travelers to save and access conversation transcripts for later reference, and highlights offline languages to prevent difficulties with having no service.

CONTRIBUTION

Competitive analysis
User interviews
Ideation & conceptual development

Low to high fidelity wireframing
Prototyping and animation
User testing

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COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

I began by studying 3 different speak and translate apps and taking note of which features worked well and which needed improvement. I took note of problems such as confusion with setting up languages and the inability to save conversations.

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Speak & Translate

analysis 2

iTranslate Voice

analysis 3

Google Translate

INTERVIEWS

To better understand the language difficulties that travelers face, I interviewed people who have traveled to foreign countries. I also asked them to try using Speak & Translate, one of the apps I previously analyzed, to gain their perspective on how to improve upon it.

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IDEATION

Research helped me identify a few key points to address in my design: a more intuitive process for selecting languages, a more seamless translation process, and the ability to save conversations. These were aspects that I considered and explored in my initial sketches.

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PROTOTYPING

I prototyped the interfaces for Conversaid in Sketch, first focusing on usability in the low-fidelity interfaces and then visual design in the high-fidelity interfaces.

ANIMATION

I created the animations for Conversaid using Principle, focusing on how motion could help communicate the flow of translations and the state of the system to the user.

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TESTING

Testing both my low and high fidelity prototypes with users was invaluable in helping me discover issues and confusion in usability, helping me refine my prototypes to better satisfy user expectations.

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REFLECTION 

During this project, I experienced the value of user testing throughout the entire design process. Not only did testing help me discover areas of improvement in my own prototype, but also opportunity areas in existing apps to create an improved experience. This project has also taught me the huge impact that animations can have on the user experience. Animations can not only bring delight to the user, but actually improve the usability by keeping the user in-context between state and to create a better mental map of the app.

This project is no longer in progress, but here's what I would've liked to do if I had more time: 

  • Gather additional feedback about visual design and animations
  • Test with previous prototype testers to measure success of changes

Here's what I would've liked to do if I had more resources:

  • In-field observation of translation/language exchanges
  • Additional research with non-American or English-centric tourist experiences
  • A wizard of oz testing round to focus on audio experience 

Thanks for reading!