Bangalore/New York City

English Dost: Android app redesign

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

I was an individual contributor and designed all the features end-to-end. I collaborated with PMs and engineers in a distributed team to map out the scope of each feature along with executing the designs end-to-end.

I helped in designing 2 key features - Slash scenarios for quick access to files and calendar; and integrating the first version of Todo app for Teams.

DESIGN CONSTRAINTS

2 key constraints were creating solutions within the existing IA; and gathering requirements while communicating with remote teams.

IMPLEMENTATION STATUS

Cancelled

English Dost

Android App Redesign

 

Credit: Facebook developers. A video with the founder Ram Kakkad explaining the product.

 
 

About English Dost

EnglishDost (2014-17) was an award-winning app to learn conversational English speaking skills through regional Indian languages for blue-collared workers using storytelling. The product was used by more than a 1 million people and it had an organic growth of 70%.

The startup won many accolades including "Top 8" at Google Launchpad and part of Facebook India's SMB council. It was also featured and covered by multiple publications such as Yourstory, Quartz, inc42 etc.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

I was a founding team member and lead the user experience across all products under the English Dost umbrella. I also contributed to the UI overhaul of the Android app, co-designed a scalable learning framework, designed a mentor app MVP to track self-practice of students, hired and mentored junior designers, and contributed to project management.

 
 
 

Android App Redesign

English Dost had a user base predominantly in the Hindi and Kannada speaking belt. So we had to redesign the app keeping in mind the appropriate visual language for the Indian audience and technical constraints by ensuring lightweight images that don’t increase the app size or decrease performance during offline or limited connectivity. 

Also, most of our users were price sensitive so they were reluctant to download heavy and updated content on a regular basis. To circumvent that, we ensured that people could access most of the features offline and had no unnecessary animations and interactions to avoid .

Another notable aspect of our user base was the use of low-end Chinese made smartphones. This significantly reduces the performance of the app.

  1. Previous designs

Annotations: #1 was the original design. It had a linear layout where learners had to finish one lesson at a time to unlock the next. Learning through storytelling was the highlight and users loved it. But as we scaled the product, it became evident that we needed to accommodate different types of content like vocabulary, grammar etc for effective learning. Hence it was #2 redesigned and the storytelling format was removed. Thus the new design became monotonous and decreased app engagement. Simultaneously a lot of new images #3 were added for embellishment and it increased the app size.

2. Final redesign

Annotations: The final redesign effort focused on creating a scalable model. We used a #1 card layout to accommodate multiple content type. Continuing the storytelling tradition, each lesson was given an #2 introductory screen with relevant characters. #3 is a sample of a the chat based model to practice sentence construction borrowing from the original version.

 
 
 

ImPLementation status

The company stopped operations in March 2017 | Illustration and UI design by Arun Raj | Link about the company and the founders available here.