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Flash Learning Adventures Case Study


Purpose and Context

This project was an assignment through my Intro to UX course at CareerFoundry,
a first opportunity to put myself in the shoes of a UX designer.
With given parameters, I developed the user personas, problem statement, and then
developed ideas and tested a prototype for the app.

Kid holding a flash card
Project Description

This Flashcard App was created to address the problem of collaborative learning in a busy family.

How can an adult do their own learning and also supervise the learning of their children (or students)? 
How can each user have an experience that fits their language needs but also their individual learning style?

As a teacher, I know that spending time in front of a screen is helpful for some learners and not for others.

I set out to create an app that had editable cards and images, adult-child profile links, and varied activities that accompany the flash cards to appeal to kinesthetic, aural, and visual learners and to deepen learning opportunities for everyone.




How can multiple users with different capabilities and learning styles stay engaged with a flashcard learning app long enough to meet their learning goals?


Create a mobile app that can be used in 5-10 minute sessions to engage people in studying or learning something that is important to them

Role: UX Researcher & Designer
Grandparent covering their eyes
Project Scale:

3 weeks (Project for Intro to UX Course through CareerFoundry)

Primary Stakeholders:

Parents, Teachers, and diverse learners

Tools Used:



Project Lead: Mara Levi
Tutor: Elizabeth Larson
Mentor: Candice Li


User Research: Competitive Analysis


I began by researching what kinds of flashcard apps already existed. I chose 3 flashcard apps but I also checked out Bunpo, which came up in my flashcard search, but which turned out to contain more than simply flashcards.

While this was not strictly the assignment, I found that seeing how this app engaged other parts of my brain appealed to me as a teacher and made me want to consider adding functionality to my flashcard app.

Competition Screenshots
Main Takeaways:
  • Too many options can feel overwhelming

  • Hidden fees take away a lot of the fun of learning

  • Simple is good, but not always appealing to every learner



  • Tons of options for study

  • Interface feels easy to understand and navigate

  • Confidence based repetition system so you repeat harder things more frequently

  • Easy to create your own deck for study

  • Screen is colorful but also visually simple. Not too much information in one place.

  • Actually want to keep this app and keep learning - made it fun and easy.


  • Hidden fees - limited access to in-depth decks without membership. Not clear until you click on one of the cool decks



  • Onboarding offers options of why I’m wanting to learn (parent/teacher vs hobbyist vs exam study)

  • Offers choice of how many minutes to study per day (max 1000 minutes)

  • Offers rating system to indicate how often cards will repeat. Difficult cards repeat more frequently than easy ones.


  • Premium version allows adding pictures and customization - not great for learning tool for kids

  • Just throws you in - confusing about where to start or what things I can do with cards

  • Each card has a lot of information that’s hard to sift through



  • Incredibly fast onboarding - 3 questions and I’m learning

  • No ads

  • Easy to move back and forth between screens and to visualize progress.

  • Very clear graphics of each character plus pronunciation recordings

  • Mini quiz/practice requires some memory

  • Progression of lesson is logical

  • Ask a teacher function is a great idea


  • Would like to practice drawing characters to really learn them

  • Progression of characters is fast - need more practice

  • Ask a teacher function requires paid app


User Research: Interviews


I interviewed 6 people - 4 adults and 2 children - and combined my takeaways from those conversations into user personas that could guide my ideation process.


My primary objective was to find out why these users might want to learn something, what would
engage them in learning through an app, and what pain points they had experienced with previous learning

Key Takeaways:
  • Even with a small group of interviewees, learning needs were varied (repetition, visual associations, 
kinesthetic learning needs, and singing to practice learning vocabulary)

  • Most users wanted to feel like they were working towards an individualized goal, and wanted 
transparency about the steps needed to get to that goal

  • Everyone agreed that hidden fees were a turnoff

  • I repeat new words in small batches, and as I finish one batch I add a few more, increasing the number of words slowly.

  • I associate new words with something familiar.

  • I read things out loud and create visual associations.

  • I repeat new words lots of times in different contexts to get comfortable with them.

  • I sing songs to practice new words.

  • I always check for fees before I download an app.

  • I believe that learning can and should be engaging and linear, and if it’s not, it’s not worth my valuable time.

  • I believe that part of learning is understanding why something is being presented to you. Apps that explain the why are far more likely to hold my attention.

  • I believe that personalization makes learning both fun and effective.

  • I believe that kinesthetic learning is important but also difficult to do in many of the scenarios in which people use apps for learning.

  • I like apps that quiz me at the beginning so they can move at the right pace for me. Too fast or too slow/too easy or too hard feels frustrating.

  • I feel frustrated when I can’t understand the logic of a lesson. I appreciate when apps tell me why they’re giving me whatever information they’re giving me.

  • I feel motivated and have fun learning when there is a goal, a reward, or when the learning becomes a game itself.

  • I feel motivated by understanding the science of learning, and relating that to my personal goals.

  • I feel turned off by hidden fees and apps that require payment to use their most desirable features


User Research: Personas

Based on my findings from interviews, I created 2 personas: 1 adult and 1 child, both of whom wanted to learn Spanish through a Flashcard app.
The adult also wanted to connect with/supervise their child’s learning.

I created a scenario that the family was planning a month-long trip to Mexico, and that they all had a time constraint within which they wanted to improve their comprehension.

Luna Persona image
Maggaline Persona image



"I'm so excited to go to Mexico but I'm nervous that I won't be able to understand people."

Problem: What do Lulu and Maggaline need?

​Maggaline needs a way to have fun learning Spanish because she learns best when she is moving and using multiple parts of her brain. We will know this to be true when we see Maggaline completing multiple games that focus on different learning modalities.

Lulu needs a way to enjoy improving her Spanish and supervise her children’s learning because they will all stop the learning process if they are not engaged and enjoying themselves. We will know this to be true when we see Lulu and her children completing multiple levels over an extended period of time.

Hypothesis: How can our app support Lulu and Maggaline?

We believe that by creating a flashcard app that engages multiple learning modalities for Maggaline, we will achieve her understanding 20% more Spanish vocabulary.

We believe that by creating a flashcard app that engages people of all ages and allows parental supervision for Lulu, we will achieve her family understanding 20% more Spanish vocabulary.


Problem Statement

A family, including adults and children, want to learn Spanish. All have limited amounts of free time, and all have different learning needs and styles.
How can each person have an individualized learning experience through flash cards?

How can the adult supervise and participate in the experience with each child?
We will know we have addressed the problem when each family member is spending their intended amount of time on learning per day, and when each person is making progress through levels of cards.

  • Creating separate but similar workflow for adults and children

  • Creating access points for learners who need something other than visual cues

  • Creating fun and accessibility for different ages, skill levels, and learning styles

Luna persona image
Maggaline persona image

Ideation: Workflow Maps

I began with these personas and thought about how they would want to get into working on the app. I created an activity choice flow for a child, and a workflow map for an adult.

Adult workflow
Child workflow

Ideation: Wireframes

Based on those user flows I began sketching out pen and paper wireframes. I transferred those to the online program Marvel to create a clickable prototype for user testing and upgraded from pen sketches to mid-fidelity wireframes.

Pencil and Low-fidelity wireframes - Login
Pencil and Low-fidelity wireframes - Dashboard
Pencil and Low-fidelity wireframes - Add a card
Pencil and Low-fidelity wireframes - Flash Cards

Usability Testing


Testing adult onboarding and card creation in the Flash Learning Adventures Flash Card App; Testing child navigation of flash cards and activity options in the same app.


Moderated testing with children and adults July 24-25, 2023.


10-15 minutes of time per participant

Direct tasks:

  • Adult: Add a new word card and then navigate home. What was difficult to find?

  • Adult: navigate to where you could edit the goals you’ve set for yourself

  • Kid: From Home, navigate to cards for when you feel active and then choose what you’d want to do.


Scenario Task 4 Adult: Think about how you learn and what information an app would need to know in order to cater to your style. What questions (or answer choices) are missing from our list in the introductory questionnaire?

Comments & Issues
Jakob Nielsen Rating
“Once I understood what you were looking for I felt like the options were fine. I think you should update the questions to be more clear.”
Several suggestions for clarifying questions and options
“Will I be able to change these later?”

Findings: Onboarding questions need significant clarification.

Updated profile questionnaire


Testing on iPhones or computers using the Marvel app


Jakob Nielsen’s error rating severity scale


Leigh-Ellen (42)
Ray (72)
Ginny (75)
Maggie (8)
Caroline (6)

Scenario tasks:
Adult: Think about how you learn and what information an app would need to know in order to cater to your style. What questions (or answer choices) are missing from our list in the introductory questionnaire?
Adult: You have logged in and you want to add a new user profile for one of your children. How many places did you need to try before you found the spot?
Kid: When you log in the first time you’re feeling annoyed and you want to learn some food words. After you flip the first card over you decide you want to stop and then go back to your home page. How easy is it to do these things?
Kid: When you log in the second time you are feeling active and you want to work on conversations. Can you find the activity? Would you enjoy the activity?

Happy user using app

Findings, Successes, Lessons Learned

Simple is Better
Simple processes like getting to flashcards that redundant options worked seamlessly. People could click in several different areas to get to the same place, and this allowed them to follow their instincts.
Complex ideas (like creating a detailed profile or communicating between adults and learners) that weren't fully part of the prototype were confusing

Grandparent covering their eyes
Kid holding a flash card

Options are Helpful
Kids and adults liked the element of choice - both in goal setting and in task selection
Asking so many questions during onboarding might be too much up front. Users prefer having the choice to skip.

Looking Ahead

A next prototype will need to be simpler and will need to start with basic fundamental functions before it jumps into the more complex learning ideas.


Kids were really excited to try and practice - they wanted more words and cards
Simple workflows with built-in redundancy went well - users of all ages consistently understood what to do

Lessons Learned

Basic Functions First - spend time making sure the things people will need to do every day work well before getting into the complexities of tasks
Create MultiModal Learning Activities - many people are turned off by learning (especially for kids) on phones. Creating ways for their phone to send them AWAY to learn will be appreciated and will tap into kids' natural creativity.
Create Workflow for Games - How will gamifying the learning in this app help it? Think through this and create a workflow to test it.
User Test Simpler Prototype - Test something without so many bells and whistles (or opportunities to do more complicated things) in order to ensure the function of basic components before increasing complexity.

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