Work in progress on Yoruba101 & Igbo101 — staying motivated!
It’s been a busy yet interesting couple of months working on updates to the Yoruba and Igbo language-learning apps. Much as I love the process of creating these apps, it’s not uncommon to hit roadblocks of boredom and discouragement given the iterative and lengthy nature of the development process. Hence, from experience, it helps to write posts like this to keep me accountable to my journey, purpose and goals while giving me a means with which to connect my dots tomorrow.
Earlier in the year, we decided it was time to take our Yoruba101 and Igbo101 apps to new levels. In order words, time to integrate a number of growing feedback we’ve received over the lifetime of the apps. Some of these feedback include:
- Adding new lessons, specifically conversational topics
- Making a single iOS app so that you no longer have to download and pay differently for iPad and iPhone versions.
- Including ways for users to restore their progress and achievements even after uninstalling and reinstalling the app.
One of the main challenges has been the way the apps were initially developed. Addressing this meant overhauling the entire apps using a new tool for development. Technically speaking, moving from Adobe Flash Professional/ActionScript 3 to Unity3D/C#. That way, we’ll have a robust product that makes scaling it up a lot easier. The Yoruba101 Ikini and Shona101 apps were developed using Unity3D/C# so I’m confident of using same tools for current updates to Yoruba101, Igbo101 and subsequent projects in the pipeline.
Granted, it takes some time to do this, so we decided it’s best we couple everything together. The team got to work on multiple things. To create a content tailored to a new beginner, I embarked on a practical firsthand learning experience of Igbo, a language I couldn’t speak but now do to some extent. That spanned over 12 hours of one-on-one lessons with our in-house Onye nkuzi (Teacher) resulting in interesting insights that came in handy for our new curriculum.
While at that, we made some quick updates to the Yoruba101 Ikini and Igbo101 apps going by some customer feedback. To the former, we added a selection page. To Igbo101 iOS app, we added a menu prompt for helping users retrieve previously purchased items.
Anyways, it’s all for the greater good. We have since fine-tuned our scripts and over the last few weeks, completed the audio recordings which include songs, new topics and corrections to old topics.
Right now, my main tasks involve sitting behind a computer and stringing together the sounds, animations and more. I’ve started prototyping some new approaches for creating more engaging lessons and games as below.
Making these apps though challenging is a fun process and for me, nothing beats the process. The reward they say is in the journey. More importantly, know that we’re still and will keep doing what we can to make Yoruba, Igbo and more native languages in the future fun to learn.
The highlight on our Instagram account entitled Behind-the-scenes is another means to stay motivated and accountable. Sharing helps with getting needed feedback in form of views, likes, comments so it’s all good.