Week 2: app concept, design, wireframes

My main objective for this semester is to build an app that is super simple and allows me to focus more on the coding than a complicated concept. In order to do this I thought about what I would really want. Lately, I’m trying to spend more of my “mobile time” on apps that help organize my life. I have been trying to spend more time on apps like Wunderlist, making lists and using my phone in a more effective and meaningful way. I wanted to make an app that would be simple to make, but useful and that I could build on throughout and after the semester.

App concept:

This app is to help someone learning a new language organize the new vocabulary they are learning. It is not to define words. Its sole purpose to give someone who is on the go have an easy, accessible way of recording the new words they have encountered. It’s a very common practice for a language learner to keep a notebook with new words/phrases, but it’s difficult to always remember to bring your language notebook. Especially if you are out with your friends or family.


Someone learning a new language who doesn’t have time to carry or remember to carry a notebook with everything they learn throughout a given day. It’s someone who’s serious about language learning, but needs a consistent place to keep track of all of the new words they’ve heard, or encounter.

Use cases:

Graduate student is studying full-time, but still wants to learn a new language on the side for a distinct purpose, i.e traveling, or for the practice of learning.

Teenager is interested in a different culture and wants to learn a new language to understand the culture better. Paper is so last year. But their phone is always there.

Professional adult works full-time, in addition to having a family or a very serious social life. They don’t have the time or space to carry a notebook to record the words they want to learn and use in their target language.

User scenarios:

Luis is originally from Colombia and is  a full-time graduate student at NYU. Although he speaks English proficiently, he has been learning a lot of English slang words and phrases. His American friends are constantly saying words he doesn’t commonly use, but wants to in order to sound more natural. He doesn’t have time or money to take English lessons, nor does he have the space in his backpack to carry another notebook specifically for English.

Angela love Japanese Anime and would love to travel to Japan after she graduates from high school. She has a full-time school schedule, plus extra-curricular activities. She’s constantly writing new Japanese words in her various notebooks, and even on random napkins. She would love a single place to put all of the Japanese words she hears during her Anime shows that doesn’t make her think any more than required.

Jeff is a marketing director at a start-up. He spends more time at work than at home, but has an upcoming trip to Brazil to celebrate Carnaval. He wants to be able to relax and socialize with the locals without having to look everything up in a dictionary. He takes a Portuguese class once a week, but never remembers to bring his Portuguese notebook to work, and therefore doesn’t spend enough time studying throughout the week.

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Apps I like:

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I am huge fan of the Foursquare app (can’t deny it). It’s so easy to navigate and I love how it creepily always knows where I am.

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Wunderlist, which I spoke about earlier, is a great app. So simple, clear, and useful. The design isn’t overwhelming. Even the choice of green is calming.