Mobile language-learning app

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Project
Create an app that uses  location (restaurant, work, etc.)  to help people learn Mandarin. We used a Foursquare API to prompt people for their location and then showed them relevant  flashcards to reinforce learning and encourage them to use the vocabulary when out and about.

Highlights

  • Based on in situ interviews in Beijing and Seattle, decided native English speakers in China would benefit the most from an in-context language learning app.
  • In 8 weeks, our team wireframed and coded the app, and then kicked off month-long field research phase.
  • Based on data from app use, we determined that the design prompting users to learn and use words in context helped them learn more words than learning without context.

Role
Ran the field studies, analyzed the results, wireframed the entire app (Balsamiq), contributing author on CHI paper (2011)

app demo

Axure prototype available by request

Custom app for tracking payments

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Project
Improve attendance tracking for Jordanian and Palestinian refugees in a vocational training program. My goal was to create a system the assistant could run without supervision, while improving efficiency and accuracy.

Highlights

  • Conducted in situ field research to identify the best approach.
  • Due to time and budget constraints, turned an existing spreadsheet into a lightweight application using macros.
  • Ran iterative testing with users and taught them to troubleshoot problems. The new system gained them 10 hours a month and was still in use a year later.

Role
All research, design, and implementation

Attendance tracking app