Leap app — take the leap and learn new language

Sometimes learning new language can be boring and daunting task especially when you not enjoying it. How to change that experience and make it more interesting, easy and fun? A few mounts ago, in the University where I work, a lot of new students arrived from lot of different countries . They often need to speak more languages to be able to communicate with other students but also to follow the lectures.

So the design process of the Leap app started by exploring how students learn new languages, what are their needs and what are the difficulties, what are the problems that they experience?

Jochem is looking at expensive online language course

After observing and talking with students, a big list of user needs emerged. For example: students need flexibility because they already have a very busy schedule to fit in a normal course or the “classical” methods are just too expensive and boring for them. Also especially in the beginning, for the international students is difficult to connect with other students due to the language barrier, but also due to some cultural differences.

So there were a lot of challenges to solve while developing the Leap app. After few days of brainstorming possible ideas and combining the things I’ve already learned from my observations I came up with the core concepts for the Leap app.

The Leap app should make possible one student to connect with another student, simply by filling the language that he wants to learn and his interests and hobby’s. Then the app matches the student query with the information of other students with similar interests. For example: if Nadia is Dutch student who wants to learn Spanish and Diego is a Spanish student who wants to learn Dutch and they both like Salsa dancing as a favorite interests than we have a match in the app. The next step is that Nadia and Diego get notified for this match and they can contact each other via chat or by phone and start learning together. They can also go Salsa dancing together while still practicing the languages that they want to learn.

The app development process went trough a lot of different stages and there were a lot of iterations and design changes before the final result was reached. From the initial Needfinding and Ideation to making the storyboards and the first prototype.

First paper prototype

The Heuristic evaluation methods helped to improve the usability of the app, as a result more design changes were made. The next step was to test this design with users and prepare the app for A/B Test.

Testers of the A/B test responded very positive to the Leap app, which was a sign that a lot of the iterations and changes made during the design process were the right ones.

Testing the Leap app

Here some of the testers comments:

“This is a easy to use app that would really help students be able to connect with each other and work on learning new languages and other skills.”

“I liked the in-built barter system (ability to see what the other person wants to learn).”

“I think the idea for the Leap app is pretty awesome and beneficial. This app was extreamly easy to use and I like the options to either call or send a message to the person you were matched up with. I could see many people using this app because of how easy it is to use.”

Final prototype of the Leap app

The final version of the Leap app prototype is now completed and achieved the following goals.

1. Every student can use the app for free — no more expensive “classical” courses.

2. The app connects students with students — similar interest and challenges, more understanding and valuing the flexible times to learn another language.

3. The app make’s the experience of learning languages more personal and social — by making friends, by getting acquainted with different cultures and customs.

4. The app is very easy to use — fast onboarding and results.

5. The app is fun! — Learning the language while for example salsa dancing together or watching the favorite sport game.

So if you are student …(or just bit curious ;-) )

What are you waiting for?

Take the Leap and start learning the language you want. ;-)

Youtube: https://youtu.be/Lu5Fq94lagE