Study, Cram, Remember!

MANY STUDENTS, whether it be for school or for standardized tests, are often forced to memorize lots of information in a short amount of time. While this method of studying might be effective for short term memorization, it doesn’t encourage retention of information.

- What happens after students cram in this information? How can I help and create an incentive for students (and lifelong learners) to retain information for the long-term?


Competitive Analysis

In order to create a flashcard app, I first had to understand the current marketplace for it. I performed a competitive analysis on three apps that I personally use to study vocabulary:

While not traditional flashcard apps, I chose Pleco and Japanese Jisho because they act as both dictionaries and flashcard apps, something that makes them standout from other apps. Because of their dual use, I was interested in understanding how cohesive the apps are and the pros and cons of having resources that support the vocab learning process.

Summarized SWOT analysis and take-aways are shown below:

User Interviews

After understanding the current marketplace for flashcard apps, I interviewed 4 individuals who are current students or are recent grads with experience in using flashcard apps. I took notes on the interviews and compiled their

  1. HOW they studied
  2. THOUGHTS on their current studying style and
  3. GOALS for studying



From the collected data and the Doing-Feeling-Thinking chart, I created a persona, Chris, a college student who has similar study habits and motivations for studying vocab as my interviewees. This helped me better understand this target demographic for flashcard apps.

Empathy Map

Using the data I learned from the user interviews, I created an empathy map to further understand Chris. This process helped me better understand how to structure the app.

MAIN TAKEAWAYS for users like Chris were:

Possible Solution

Based off the interviews and competitive analysis, I wanted to design an app for people like Chris so that they can both LEARN and RETAIN the knowledge they learned. In order to do this, I wanted to provide both the

They would need to be successful. This way, their studying will become more efficient in the long run because they can build on what they already learned.


User Flows

Creating the persona and empathy map gave me a better idea of what type of flashcard app I wanted to design for people like Chris. I created two different user flows that would fulfill Chris’s needs:

  1. the ability to his own flashcard decks & pre-made decks and
  2. the ability to remember the words he learned through the app

The first task flow is shown below:


Visual Design

Using the persona, empathy map and user flows, I made paper sketches to design the app. I concentrated on the three major features I wanted to include:

  1. studying flashcard decks
  2. finding existing decks
  3. finding articles relevant to the vocab.

The paper sketches can be seen below:


Usability Testing

With the low-fidelity wireframes, I created an interactive prototype through Marvel. I then organized and held moderated remote usability testing sessions with five individuals. These sessions tested the usability of the features that I performed through eight different tasks.

I analyzed the notes that I took and noted four major errors — using Jakob Nielsen’s error severity scale — that the participants had with the prototype and put them into a rainbow spreadsheet seen below:

Implementing Feedback

I made improvements to the app according to the four major errors.

**While one error was regarding the use of icons and is usually something addressed in higher fidelities, I wanted to include it in the improvements. This is because I wanted these improved low-fidelity wireframes to act as the basis of future, higher-fidelity wireframes.**

The improvements can be seen below:


Working on Study, Cram, Remember! has taught me so much about the UX design process. The most important things I’ll take from this is the importance of:

  1. Building a strong foundation for one’s work through research, interviews, and analysis and
  2. Usability testing and the iterative design process.

Because I worked alone, receiving input from other people was very valuable to me. I was able to see issues through observing how the participants interacted with the prototype that I had never considered in the early design phase.

If I were to continue working on this app, I would work on the UI of the prototype and create a high-fidelity prototype with all the improvements I made to the original wireframes. I would then use this high-fidelity prototype in usability testing again testing the same features and also asking general impression questions this time as well.

Thank you for reading! Feel free to contact me with any feedback and check out my other work!

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