Category

UI/UX, Mobile App

Year

2019

Role

User research, wireframes, prototyping, illustration, animation.

Project type

Passion project (individual)

03 / Signed with Love

Signed With Love is an app that teaches new parents of deaf children ASL (American Sign Language) and helps them teach it to their children. This is a passion project that I decided to further develop in my senior Thesis. 

 

As someone currently studying ASL, I wanted to design a resource that would help facilitate the ASL learning experience; through my research, I realized that there is a lack of educational and support resources for parents of deaf children. Having a deaf child can be daunting, especially if that child is the first deaf person you know.

PROBLEM

1-1. User Interviews 

I interviewed several parents of deaf children through a Facebook page, and here are some of the things they said.

Through these interviews and research, I found that:

  1. ASL textbooks display static illustrations, which can be confusing in comprehending a sign’s motion.

  2. YouTube ASL tutorials lack a structured learning experience/curriculum.

  3. There is a lack of resources that adequately help a parent learn ASL at home. 

  4. Although a parent may succeed in learning ASL, they may not know how to properly teach it to their baby as they grow up.

3-1. Design

SOLUTION

2-1. Iteration #1

Learning ASL through a curriculum of levels with individual video screens for each word and a quiz at the end.

PROCESS

2-2. Iteration #2

Added a “favorite words” and “save to learn later” feature where users can bookmark selected words.

2-3. Iteration #3

Interviewed a Special Education teacher that works with deaf children. Added a customizable learning plan when the user signs up, tailored to how old the child currently is so the parent can learn words in the order of that child's age learns.

2-4. Flow Map

I created a user task flow map that outlines the user's main goal.

2-5. Lo-fi Wireframes

2-6. Hi-fi Wireframes

3-2. Clickable Prototype

3-3. Iteration 1 based on user testing & feedback

Added an Index to the menu. This allows users to look up a word and view its sign page instead of going through all the levels to find it.

3-4. Iteration 2 based on user testing & feedback

Added a playback speed button. This allows users to slow down the speed of the signed video if it is too fast to learn.

3-5. Responsive designs

Tablet Size (iPad) and Android-style interface (Google Pixel)

- I think interviewing people who worked directly with the target audience I was creating the app for was extremely crucial. If I didn’t interview the special ed teachers that work with deaf children, I wouldn’t have realized the importance of creating a learning plan customizable to the age of the child. As an ASL student myself, I assumed that a universal textbook structure would work well for all parents of deaf children. 

- Tweaking the visual design of the app (e.g. adding illustrations) may seem like an aesthetic choice, but it made a huge difference in evoking a comforting and parent-friendly atmosphere for the app’s target audience.

- A lot of user feedback said that they enjoyed how comforting and reassuring the app's language was. I think sympathizing with these parents helped me write content that contributed to this design decision.

INSIGHTS & TAKEAWAYS