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Quill Vocabulary

How can we deliver new vocabulary words to users in a fast, accessible and efficient way?

Scope of Work



  • Competitive Analysis

  • User Interviews

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  • User Persona

  • User Flow (Lucid Chart)


UX Design

  • Wireframes (Sketch)

  • Prototype (MarvelPop)

  • Usability Testing

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UI Design

  • Product Name + Logo

  • High Fidelity Design

Why a Vocabulary App?

The reason I chose to design a vocabulary app is because I am very close to my grandparents who practice their vocabulary every single day and have for the past 30 years. Not a day has gone by that they haven't dusted off their vocab books and practiced their word of the day and in those 30 years, this process hasn't evolved, though they have. As they get older, their needs change and the product should change with it to better provide for their needs. I believe Quill Vocabulary is the answer to that call because it incorporates the elements that they already loved but in a way that meets their additional needs.



Finding Quill Vocabulary's Inspiration

When approaching our user research, we wanted to understand how our users currently learn new words, what tools they used to find the information, and most of all, why they wanted to expand their vocabulary. I went into this research with some idea of how our users would answer but they're answers were unexpected and exciting. As one of my first UX projects, this Design Thinking phase spurred on my passion for user-centered design.

1. Competitive Analysis
Competitor #1: Vocabulary

Vocabulary is an app bringing a new word a day to your routine. Their content is appealing, curated and consistent: all which are of the utmost importance when designing a studying app.

So what can we learn from Vocabulary?

SWOT analysis

From our competitive analysis we learned that Vocabulary is strong in its desirability and simple layout. Conversely, the app would excel in user experience if the onboarding was more thorough, and if the content was more accessible through a free membership.

Competitor #2: Magoosh Vocabulary Builder

Magoosh Vocabulary Builder was built by expert tutors to assist users in learning up to 1200 words across beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Addtionally, they specialize in helping students prep for the GRE, SAT, and TOEFL.

So what can we learn from Magoosh Vocabulary Builder?

Magoosh Vocab Competitive Analysis.png

From researching our competitor, Magoosh Vocabulary Builder, we learned that it is beneficial to create content that the average learner is seeking. When doing this, it's vital that the user can operate the app with ease from a successful onboarding process to thoroughly researched information architecture. 

2. User Interviews

Interview Questions:

1. Tell me a bit about yourself. Are you a student or professional or both?

2. Tell me about a time you sought to learn new vocabulary. How did you do it?


3. What motivated you to learn new vocabulary?


4. Did you enjoy the process? What were some challenges you faced?


5. What happened when you faced these challenges? Were you able to overcome it?


6. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about ..... what would it be?


  • Tools used are SAT books, the thesaurus, and Google.

  • Their motivation is to move up in their careers and have confidence when interacting with others.

  • Reading the word alone is not enough. To completely understand the word, it must be learned through hearing and reading the word.

Pain Points: 

  • Complex words that wouldn't be used in an everyday setting shouldn't be included unless specifically asked for. This is because they can be seen as a waste of effort.

  • The lack of accessibility for those with Dyslexia. Words should be able to be searched by voice command, as well.


  • When users are dedicated to learning new vocabulary, they will ritualistically study everyday and take on challenges to learn new words.

  • They will practice those words in the following days after learning it.

3. User Persona
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The Go - Getter

Behaviors & Actions: 

  • She is very busy between work and family but makes practicing her vocabulary a priority.

  • She has always used vocabulary books but would be open to using an app if it was simple to use and read.

  • She will quickly forget a word if she does not practice.

Needs & Goals

  • She wants to improve her vocabulary to better communicate with her customers.

  • She would like to demonstrate her writing strengths so that she can move up in her position.

  • She would like to gain confidence when she is speaking in front of her peers.

User Stories:

  • As I am an older learner, it is important that I have something simple to learn from where I can go at my own pace.

  • As I am dedicated to remembering what I have learned, I would like to practice what I’ve learned with engaging quizzes.

  • As I have a very busy schedule, I would like to set reminders to do a “2 minute study session” so that I can squeeze in learning amidst my other duties.

Age: 55 years old.
Location: San Diego, CA
Profession: Customer Service Representative.
User Environment: Home and work.
Devices: Phone

“ I believe that learning should be fun, engaging andInteresting.”

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Problem Statement

Linda needs an app that will help her learn and review new words in a short amount of time and will continually test her knowledge of the vocabulary words she’s learned. We will know this to be true, when she can squeeze in a study session during the day and remember the words she has been taught.


I believe that by building an app that has a simple user interface and is concentrated on usability and engaging material, that Linda will learn new vocabulary from her vocabulary app with confidence. By making the material customized and engaging while testing her knowledge with quizzes and repetition, she will achieve her goal of learning new vocabulary.

Building the Structure

From what I learned in our user research, how would our "go-getter", Linda, approach learning new words in our app?

Task Analysis #1

Entry point: Open app or reminder notification

Success criteria: Take quiz

1. Open app or tap reminder notification.

2. Tap challenge button on menu.

3. Tap begin.

4. Match words with definitions.

5. Tap Submit.

6. Review Results.

7. Choose to add missed words to future practice words.

8. Return to home/close app.

User Flow #1.png
Task Analysis #2

Entry point: Open app or tap reminder notification Success criteria: Studies 2 minutes of vocabulary

1. Open app or tap reminder notification.

2. Review vocabulary word, root of the word and the definition.

3. Tap sound button to hear pronunciation.

4. Read examples of the word in a sentence.

5. Click done when timer goes off.

6. Choose to set a reminder to practice word.

7. Return to home/close app.

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UX Design

UX Design


Usability Testing

I compiled all of my research and crafted my information architecture- now it was time to see if I had designed the right thing for our user! The users were given a low-fidelity prototype and as they explored, I would ask them to do the following tasks:

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The results were telling to say the least. We gathered a heap of fantastic information from the usability testing conducted including that there were usability concerns with navigation and the most severe mistake, that a wireframe had been left out of the prototype. Through user testing I gained insight on how the app could be more useful by using universal design methods. From this information, appropriate changes were made and our last prototype iteration was created.

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UI Design

UI Design

High Fidelity Wireframes


Final Thoughts

Quill Vocabulary makes the daunting task of learning new vocabulary words seamless. From my user research I found that our users needed content that was curated, engaging, and timely. As I strategized, I thought of two ways I could meet my users needs: timely study sessions and engaging quizzes. Through user testing, I found that more universal design methods were needed and that ease of use must be increased for our target audience. I then reiterated my design to be more intuitive to our target user's needs and the final product is one that I believes meets the mark. It is engaging, inspiring, and will help provide consistency as the user accomplishes their goals of learning new vocabulary. In the future, I will take my user research further and design a product that highlights its efficiency and ease of use.

Quill Vocabulary Presentation

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