Introducing TranScan!

Translations on the go

The core idea behind TranScan, an app that helps users with translations on the go, evolved from my personal experience of living in a country where people speak a language foreign to me.

While there are formal ways to learn a language such as taking classes from professionals and informal ways through apps such as Duolingo, a game-base language learning app, quite often, it is difficult for a beginner to get around with limited vocabulary.


For this assignment, I chose ‘Change’ as the theme for my observations. I am curious to understand how people learn a foreign language and adapt to change in their environment where people speak a different language.

Fortunately, as I am working in a country where people speak a language that is foreign to me it was easy for me to find candidates for this activity as a lot of people are learning this language at their own pace.

Xiao using Duolingo and going through one of daily language lessons on her iPhone. Although she sets aside some time to learn everyday, but because she relies heavily on her smartphone she can learn anytime, anywhere.

Market Realities

Next, based on online research and interactions with prospectives, I went through a set of popular websites and apps that people commonly use to learn in an fun and interactive way. Some of the popular products that I found are — Duolingo, QuizUp, Elevate and Khan Academy.

The key features that were common amongst all successful learning products that they were gamified, interactive, and fun to use.

Khan Academy


While learning a new language takes time, people need an easier way to be able to translate messages, notifications or notices into a language that they understand and speak.

Such interactions are commonly overlooked, but are an interesting way to learn a foreign language and turn out to be quite useful in the moment.


Evaluations and Plan


Heuristic evaluations are a great way to objectively assess a prototype. Most of the major problems I found were related to ‘Recognition over recall’. Getting inspired from popular apps and incorporating changes not only saved time, but also helped users recognise common functions naturally rather learning something new.

Eventually, I was able to compile a list of concrete changes that I wished to make. Such changes and next steps leading to a full-designed app were put into an action plan using the Development Plan template that was shared with the Coursera community.


As soon as the high-fidelity prototype came close to completion, I conducted a few more usability studies to capture any user feedback that I may have missed. And at last, the final app design was ready to be shared with everyone.

TranScan — Click to view

I really enjoyed working on the Capstone project and I’d like to thank the course staff and co-learners for their invaluable feedback and help.

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