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Analyzing Duolingo from Product Design

Ulfah Alifah
Ulfah Alifah

Table of Contents

Knowledge of different foreign languages is highly valued today. And if 20 years ago, learning a foreign language was quite difficult, today it is only a matter of time and the availability of a gadget.

Now there are many platforms, services, and applications with which you can learn foreign languages, being in any country of the world. The most important thing is that each of the services is unique and offers its own approach to language learning.

So everyone can choose the most convenient method and learn the language comfortably and productively. If you have an original idea and want to create your own mobile application, be sure that you can do it.

Follow the link and learn more about how to build a language-learning app from scratch. But if you want to find a ready-made application, pay attention to analyzing Duolingo from the product design. It provides a wide range of language learning opportunities and is widely popular today.

Read this article for analyzing Duolingo from a product design perspective, as well as provide a step-by-step guide on how to create a language learning app like Duolingo.

General characteristics of the Duolingo Mobile App

Duolingo is an online community that allows you to learn a foreign language while translating websites and documents yourself.

Currently, the application offers about 35 languages ​​to learn, and every year the list of languages ​​available for learning grows.

Game form of language learning

Duolingo offers learning in the form of a game. The language learning course consists of levels. There is a different topic for each level. A certain number of lessons is assigned to each topic.

Each lesson includes theoretical material and practice. The practice consists of small tasks, for example, translating a word or phrase, listening to an audio recording and reproducing what you hear, establishing a word-translation match, and many other equally interesting tasks.

Each level uses the material mastered in the previous levels. Therefore, without passing the previous level, it will be impossible to go to the next. Points are awarded for each correctly completed lesson.

By using them, the user can open additional features of the service: language practice thanks to communication with other users, various interesting stories and bonuses, etc.

Wide variety of lectures, video lessons, and educational materials

Duolingo also offers online lectures and video lessons, materials and methodologies for teachers, and a dictionary with support for all languages included in the application itself.

The only drawback for non-English speaking users may be that most courses provide information in English.

This service is an excellent choice for students who want to learn the language in an interesting format and gain knowledge for use in real situations, rather than simply memorizing frequently used phrases.

Thanks to Duolingo, students have the opportunity to learn the language quickly and immediately start using the acquired knowledge in everyday life.

Duolingo design features

As it is known, the most important role in the creation of a mobile application is played by the development of the app design. Users are primarily attracted by the design, its appearance, functionality, convenience, and simplicity.

Program design is the visual arrangement of the program, as well as the creation of a structure based on the logic of user behavior. In other words, it is not only appearance but also ease of use. Application design can be divided into UX and UI parts.

As for the design of the Duolingo mobile application, it is not only attractive in appearance but also functional. Using the program is intuitive for the user. Performing any actions in the application does not take much effort and time. Duolingo is completely user-centric. It helps to solve all the necessary tasks without extra effort. The user interface is simple and clear.

The duolingo.com website states that its main goal is to provide everyone with access to personal lessons using modern technology. The site also states that Duolingo users find language patterns on their own, without focusing on rules.

Such a process, called ‘implicit learning’, is ideal for obtaining deep fundamental knowledge of the language and its rules. Duolingo’s clear instructions are very important. In addition to learning activities, users can view tips with explanations of grammar rules, pronunciation, and useful phrases.

UI design of the program is a significant element. The UI determines the colors and general visual design of the application, that is, how convenient it is for the user to click on the buttons and how readable the text is. Duolingo’s UI design is excellent, so it’s no wonder that many people want to make learning apps like Duolingo.

The benefits of Duolingo for language learners

Among the significant advantages that Duolingo provides to its users, the following can be noted:

  • Ability to study at any time. The user can decide for himself when and how much time he should devote to studying the material. Everyone builds an individual study schedule for himself;
  • The opportunity to study anywhere without breaking away from the main activity. There is an opportunity to learn without leaving your home or office, being anywhere on the planet. To start learning, you only need a computer with Internet access. The absence of the need to visit an educational institution every day is an undoubted plus for people with limited health opportunities, those living in hard-to-reach areas, parents with small children, etc.;
  • Ability to study at a comfortable pace. It is not necessary to study at the same pace as other learners. The user can always return to studying more complex issues, watch video lectures several times, or skip already-known topics;
  • Availability of educational materials. Duolingo users have access to all necessary materials. The problem of lack or absence of textbooks and training manuals disappears;
  • Individual approach. Duolingo provides an individual approach. In addition to the fact that the learner chooses his own learning pace, he can promptly receive answers to emerging questions from the support service.

The advantages that Duolingo provides to users are obvious. However, independent language learning through a mobile application requires strong motivation.

The user learns all the educational material on his own. This requires sufficient willpower, responsibility, and self-control.

See also: Founder Talks: Creating Product for People

How to make a language learning App in a few simple steps?

If you like Duolingo and would like to make your own language app like it, you need to understand the development steps involved. Review the list and brief description of each step below.

Step 1 – Search for the main idea of the program

At this stage, an analysis of the market and existing products is carried out. Interviews with stakeholders, investors, and users are conducted.

Before proceeding to the next stage, it is necessary to describe in detail the business requirements of the product. This includes business objectives, competitiveness, brand requirements, success metrics, etc. Defining the target audience (motivation, needs, goals of users) is also important.

Step 2 – Determination of the basic functionality

Most often, mobile applications appear gradually. First, a demo version with simplified functionality is released, and then gradually new additions appear. Such an approach is often financially justified. The developer collects feedback from users and understands what to pay attention to in further development.

The experience map is defined at this stage of mobile application development. It is a set of basic functions and capabilities available to the user and their interaction.

From a marketing perspective, it is important to mark the basic distribution model, because it also depends on the main pages of the application itself.

Also, it is advisable to define in more detail the sequence of actions in the promotion – sources, distribution channels, targeted user actions, etc.

Step 3 – UI/UX design

At this stage of an app like Duolingo development, the main work is done by the designer. The expert works with specific functionality, with a clear understanding of what the user’s steps will be.

The development of information architecture takes place. A usage scenario is prescribed. System analysts are connected. Prototypes and designs of interactions are usually created.

At this stage, we are not talking about the design of the application directly. Work is carried out only with prototypes or with simple layouts.

Step 4 – Validation of prototypes in usability tests

This stage also refers to the designer’s work. It is necessary to determine whether users understand how to use the application, what is its value, etc.

This is important because it often happens that the functionality of the app page is completely unclear to the user. Based on the results of the tests, the designer makes changes to the project.

Step 5 – Creating a detailed technical task for a programmer

This stage involves the creation of a clear technical task and its transfer to the developer.

Step 6 – Direct development of mobile application and support services

In the process of creation, the mobile application continues to be constantly tested and improved. But it is important to adhere to the plan of phased releases because new ideas about functionality and design often come and can completely affect both the speed of the development process and the plan for its promotion.

Step 7 – Mobile application promotion

You already know how to make an app like Duolingo. However, this is not the end of the work. It is necessary to ensure the active promotion of the created product.

Advertising in search engines, SMM, mailing, SEO in the promotion of the site of the application, publications in the media and on news portals, etc. – all this allows for promoting the created mobile application effectively.

At this stage, it is important to determine which communication channels are best for your target audience. It is advisable to prepare the marketing part for launch immediately after the release of the program.

Step 8 – Repeated testing of program functionality and search for bugs

Experts do not recommend skipping this stage, because it allows for the detection of errors missed in the previous stages. It is necessary to test the functionality of the program and fix the detected bugs.

Step 9 – Release of the application

When a series of improvements are completed and all departments are satisfied with the work, the application can be uploaded to the application stores.

But the work on creating the program does not end there. It is necessary to provide constant technical support for its performance, and regularly improve and expand its functionality.

Mobile gadgets have become an integral part of our lives and each subsequent generation shows an increasing interest and need for their daily use. Applications that can be downloaded on modern phones provide an opportunity to improve knowledge and develop language skills in any convenient place and at any time.

See also: Knowing Your Product Inside and Out Is Key to Closing Sales: Here Are Tips in Increasing Your Product Knowledge

The advantage of mobile applications is that they are always available, have a user-friendly interface, automation of language use, and have a large number of basic words to learn

Duolingo is a very popular language-learning app today. It provides an opportunity to learn basic aspects of language such as word order, vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, etc., in the form of a specific game. The full free course has 1571 English words to learn.

Various types of tasks are available (study using flashcards, translation of words and sentences from and into English, reproduction of sentences by speaking, and listening). An immediate answer is provided for each completed task (accompanying sounds, green color for a correct answer and red for an incorrect answer, etc.).

Beginners are engaged in translating basic, simple sentences from the Internet, while experienced ones receive much more complex tasks. Duolingo provides the necessary learning and translation tools to help learners correctly understand and remember the words they encounter.

See also: UX Writing Rules for Writing and Designing Text about Products

Concluding remarks

While learning a language, users earn skill points for each completed lesson or translated content. The more tasks a player completes, the faster his level increases.

Developing and analyzing a mobile application like Duolingo is not easy. This is a rather long and time-consuming process. There is no ready script. Therefore, the program development plan may vary and be adjusted depending on the project.

However, by enlisting the support of highly qualified developers, you will definitely achieve your goal and create the language app of your dreams.

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