Bangalore/San Francisco

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

Annotation: #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.

 

About English Dost

EnglishDost was an award-winning Android English learning app (2014-17) to solve for better employment opportunities for low-skilled workers in India. It focused on improving their conversational English speaking skills using storytelling. The product was used by more than a 1 million people and it had an organic growth of 70%.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

I was part of the founding team and lead the design effort. I was responsible for user research, product thinking, end-to-end interface design and user testing. I helped in creating a scalable product, built an MVP for a mentor facing app and co-created the curriculum framework that was later incorporated in the course curriculum.

 
 
 

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.

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 go access to most of the features offline and kept the app size low by creating limited and light-weight images.

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

Co-designer: Arun Raj

 
 

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.

 

Additional details

Link about the company and the founders is available here.

Illustration and UI design by Arun Raj.