week two : september 18

topic 1: language education
keywords: self-taught, immersive, learning, cultures

The goal of this project would be to provide a platform to those who can’t afford an actual immersive environment to learn a new language. Language Immersion has been studied to be the best option to learn a new language, therefore I want to provide the user with an immersion that augments their chosen language’s environment. This environment would include content such as music, videos, article excerpts and have some sort of review component to reinforce what they’re learning to keep them accountable for their progress.

The typical medium for this topic would be an app but what if the user could be immersed by using glasses? Or even VR? Would it focus on the speaking aspect of learning or writing or listening? Something to explore more into…

project analysis one: Memrise

Memrise is an app and web-based platform where users can learn over 150 courses for 25 languages. A large part of this app is that it is science-based; they have researched into how the brain works and how it can hold information. With this, they have used indicators that are attached to words to make them memorable, testing memories that are older (recalling them), and reminders to test older concepts you’ve practised. You are able to go through a language with their gamification concept. They have multiple levels and within those levels are several topics that cover basic topics, phrases and grammar. Your own account has levels too, based on the number of words or concepts you’ve learned. There is constantly going back and forth between learning new words and reviewing, and the review has an extensive training (with a paid subscription though).

visual design

I will be basing my analysis on the app side of the Memrise’s platform. Memrise’s visual design is very vibrant and has it’s own style/branding in comparison to the Apple or Android style guidelines. It has an illustrative style touching every aspect of the app. Each level has a planet illustration and each level for the user’s progress, each type of review has a colour correlated to it. The bright and inviting interface is always inviting to use. Topics within the levels are kept within central focus with a background adapting with the higher you go, the higher the atmosphere of the background is.

memrise app

navigation and interaction

Flags beside the topics indicate to the user to interact with it and review the information within the topic. Again, the flags match the colour scheme of the type of review. I find navigating the app basically within can be done within one page of the app, on the level homepage. The bottom bar navigation is for secondary information that the user could use every once in a while. There is always a prompt at the bottom to let the user know what there is to do next, or they could go into the menu of the level they’re on beside the prompt to choose what they want to practice. The prompt is at a good placement since most information is within reach of the user’s thumb (on mobile devices).

memrise app memrise app

The interface changes when you go onto the web-based companion. It is cleaner, with fewer illustrations and more focus on the colour scheme they have going. The dashboard takes a more general view of the status of the courses that the user has going on, whereas the app focuses on one level.

memrise app
project analysis two: Duolingo

Duolingo is also app and web-based language education platform. It is similar to Memrise in many ways, but I think it’s a more relaxed and simplified version of Memrise. They have the same approach where they want to make learning fun and only focus on languages (whereas Memrise also has general education courses). Their goal is to have access to education through their platform.

One thing that is most distinctive of Duolingo compared to Memrise is that it has a section called Labs. Labs is where they have their experimental projects and the most interactive was their Stories section. This section uses “dialogue to help intermediate and advanced learners improve their reading, listening, and comprehension skills”. I thought it was fun to go through the stories. Every word that is used can be hovered over to see a translation and the pace of the story is easy to follow along. To review the story, questions every so often to ask the user what is going on in the story.

duolingo app

Another thing to mention is that on the app, there is a clubs aspect where you can discuss with members on tips and also interact with the club with prompts from Duolingo.

duolingo app

visual design

The visual design of the app has a neutral background to let the learning aspects pop out with colour. The bright colours typically consist of blue since that is their branding colour. The illustrations are also inviting and add to the cuteness or friendliness of the environment to prompt users to feel welcomed in learning new things.

duolingo app

navigation and interaction

It has the same level structure as Memrise, but it doesn’t have a prompt on what to do next. The first thing the user would choose is the level they were working on. The practice aspect would come second in level of hierarchy since it is separated in another page in the app. The bottom bar is for the navigation between pages and the top is for changing the language courses and see your current stats.

duolingo app duolingo app
topic 2: healthcare - patient information (electronic medical record)
keywords: information design, healthcare solutions

The goal of this project would be to share information on a patient’s current and past health. It is a current issue with the healthcare system on having a consistent record on a patient across several practices at different levels and to always have access to it as well from the patient’s point of view. The final system would be in theory adaptable at all levels of practice and can be accessed by the patients or doctors to see their electronic medical record.

project analysis three: DrChrono OnPatient Portal

This app is mobile and web-based, it is also on the Apple watch. It allows users to access their electronic medical records (EMR) within the app. It also offers users to schedule their appointments online, view lists of their medical conditions and message their doctor.

drchrono app

visual design

The design of the app is very plain and to the point. There isn’t that much design thought put behind the app and some iconography is used, but the hierarchy of information doesn’t help with the iconography. Especially on the appointments page where the layout isn’t functional. What if the user wants to see way next year for their appointment, would they have to scroll for on and on through the list to get to it? The idea of presenting the information about the appointment is there, but the execution isn’t.

drchrono app

navigation and interaction

The navigation of the app is typical of having a bottom bar for shortcuts to the user’s profile, appointments, messages and account settings. Under the profile page, the user can see pages that lead to more detail based on their medical record. Everything is button-based, there is no need for sliding or swiping to interact with the app.

drchrono app