Program Creating and Marketing
Team Member：Jianfang Liu, Qing Li, Lijuan Wang, Yi Shi, Xinhui Piao, Pingchuan Ma, Haiying Hua
My contribution: Team leader, Research, Wireframe, Prototype, Usiability Test, Program Design
Have you ever experienced the moment that when you chatted with others, you had no idea about some new words they mentioned and it was also hard to search the words explanation online? If you are a language learner, have you ever experience the moment that you can not understand slangs and hard to find explanation in textbooks or traditional e-dictionary ？
Meet Words is an e-dictionary app that helps you solve problems about understanding and using of words, especially new vocabulary, and increase your participation and interest in learning words.
E-dictionary is an universe learning tool for students or language learners. However, sometimes it is hard to find explanations about new vocabulary and internet buzzwords in traditional e-dictionaries. Additionally, e-dictionary is a good learning tool for leaners to go deep to learn more about the culture behind language but now the modes of e-dictionary apps ignore this point.
Through our design, we want to solve two problems. The first is to make a word bank that can be updated in real time to include new vocabulary. Secondly, to attach more professional content for an e-dictionary.
Design Process Overview
The solution was initially thought as straightforward. In order to solve the problem about finding explanations of new vocabulary and Internet buzzwords，we wanted to expand the vocabulary of e-dictionary by our design.
During the process，we found more problems needed to be handled. And what we ultimately produced was a comprehensive solution, a mobile app encompassing a scene search mode to meet users’ needs for classified search, an expanding vocabulary，a User Generated Content model to allow users to upload their notes and share questions, as well as a language entertainment program to boost users’ interest in learning.
discuss with others
expand word bank
increase interest in learning words
language programs made by Meet Words
Understand the Context
FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEW
Defining the Concept
- USER FLOW
- ENVISION SOLUTIONS
- CREATING PROTOTYPE
- USER TESTING
- SHOOTING PROGRAM
Visualisation and Documentation
SHOOTING THE CONCEPT VIDEO
SECONDARY RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS
“Modern Chinese vocabulary system is mainly divided into two parts. The first part is the basic vocabulary, and the main characteristics of which is stability and high frequency of use, this is the main part of the vocabulary. The other part is a general term, and the main characteristic of it is flexibility and the dynamic evolution process. ”
—— Huang Borong, Liao Xudong
We went through research papers, data records from Baidu search engine databases, etc. to recognize the problem.
Depending on the records from Baidu Index, we found that the tendency of searching new words online kept going up. And people aged 30~39 have a high frequency of searching new words online.
Explore people’s problems of understanding and using words in everyday life.
1. The frequency of encountering new words when you browse texts, watch videos and communicate with people
We handed out 268 questionnaires on-line and analyzed the data:
2. Misunderstanding a word’s meaning and pointed out by others.
28.1% of people come across such situations in their life; 11.8% of people often meet such situations.
42.7% of people have met with these situations among whom more people are between 25-40 years of age.
72.9% of people said sometimes they meet with such situations, most of whom are 15 years of age, more at 15-24.
3. Being confused about the pronunciation and meaning of new and strange words.
Only 7.8% of people have never experienced such situations; there are quite a lot of people in every age group who share the experience.
4. Being confused with using proper words in specific occasions.
- Most people have a problem with the words they know and their accurate usage.
- For new words, people aged from 30-50 always have problems to understand them.
1. How do you deal with new words?
2. The frequency when you fail to find the correct explanation of words or their usage ?
71.2 % of people used non-professional websites search engines to look up word explanations. 21.1 % of people often can’t find explanations of words.
Explore people’s means of solving their problems
Focus group interview
Explore what kind of e-dictionary people like
Dictionary explanations are correct. I trust it.
It would be fun if I could discuss relevant questions with other users.
It would be even better if dictionaries also show us how to use those words.
I prefer interesting interpretations over bookish explanations.
PROBLEMS WE OBSERVED:
Lack of a constantly updating vocabulary bank that has new words and buzzwords.
Mere word interpretation dictionaries fail to increase users’ learning interest.
Failure to meet user need due to unitary function of word search.
Lack of effective user connection.
DEFINING GOALS :
- A Chinese dictionary that has a strong and powerful search system
- Build connection among users to increase users’ learning interest and interaction.
- Add more interesting content to traditional e-dictionary
We went through brainstorming and during the process, we kept asking questions like does our design solution meet our research insights and meet design criteria.
ENVISIONING THE SOLUTION (Round 1):
After synthesized our findings, we brainstormed ideas and narrowed down to the best three possible concepts and solutions for a new e-dictionary.
A Constantly Updating Vocabulary Bank
Based on UGC mode（User Generated Content），we created a new feature to allow users to upload their notes and share questions and answers, which helped to expand the vocabulary.
Optimizing search engine – scenario based search mode
When users add notes, we require them to attach tags so that other users may do their situational search.
Engaging user interaction
The function of discussion: Users may ask each other a specific question and provide a answer. Users can also check each other’s online posts, thus help form an online community.
We created storyboards for the 3 concepts and solutions to illustrate the possible interaction scenarios. Using these concept storyboards, we conducted 3 in-person and online "speed dating" sessions to gather feedback about the efficacy and desirability of our proposed solutions. This ensured us to gather feedback and update our thoughts early.
Storyboard for the persona Mei Li
Mei Li, 41-year-old, has a 16-year-old kid. Sometimes, Mei Li finds problems to understand his son's buzzwords in their conversation. She wants to find explanations of such new words on the Internet or in the dictionaries, but it is not an easy thing.
She opens Meet Words and writes down her question about the explanation of "PPAP". An hour later, other users on Meet Words answer her question. What is more, Mei Li also finds the summary of buzzwords published by Meet Words everyday——"Top 10 Buzzwords", and learns more about the new words which are popular among young people.
During the process, we found that users have low sense of participation in answering other users’ questions at Meet words.
We interviewed undergraduates majoring in Chinese from Fudan University and showed them paper models of what we would like to happen throughout their interaction with the product and showed them the language program.
ENVISIONING THE SOLUTION (Round 2):
On this stage, in order to solve the problem we found, we aimed at increasing users' participation and learning interest.
Increasing participation and learning interest
Firstly, we thought enjoyability and participation combines with perks & rewards would be an opportunity space to step into, so we added reward function to Meet Words- users who answer questions will have chances to gain rewards from questioners if their answers are accepted.
Secondly, we thought that using PGC mode (Professional Generated Content) was a good way to stimulate people's participation, because if they find interesting and professional content on the platform, they enjoy it and also want to generate content by themselves. So we made a language entertainment program on Meet Words to stimulate users' behaviors.
Pilot a language program
Concept：We designed a pearl-in-the-shell cartoon image as the logo to epitomize the Chinese idiom of “every word is a gem.” The logo fit the topic and the cartoon image met the taste of the target users.
Innovative text inquiry function
Apart from searching words through traditional methods – phonetics and radicals, we added the function of using tags, which allowed users to look up words according to the contexts.
Users could look up polysemous words from standard dictionaries, and they could also upload their notes and interpretations to share with other people.
Constant upgrading vocabulary
Users were able to add new words by means of setting up notes if any Internet buzzwords were not available in vocabulary.
After that, they could wait for other users to provide explanations.
Users were allowed to add images and videos in their notes. When they did, we required them to attach tags which would help other users in their contextual search.
In the learners’ community, users joined discussion groups based on their interested topics and communicated with other people.
Users could also post questions and concerns and offer awards to people who helped address their concerns; meanwhile, they would also be able to draw more users.
Interesting language programs facilitated a comfortable learning environment for learning vocabulary and its culture.
Meet the Words would publish top search queries based on backend database which provided users with the most current word culture.
We provided a vocabulary-learning infrastructure for users where they learn from and communicate with each other.
The word bank encompassed popular words and their explanations that are not found in traditional dictionaries which addressed users’ needs better.
Through the situational search mode, users were able to look up for words and phrases based on their own needs.
We also set up a reward system and made language entertainment program to increase learning interest and promote vocabulary learning participation and enthusiasm.