Harper Seo


Bachelor of Design App Interaction Education
AD21 Award
Toi Māia Award
For cultural contribution to mātauranga Māori and indigenous knowledge

A Korean learning app for beginners

Mobile language learning applications can offer free educational opportunities for people. KPIC is a mobile learning app of the Korean alphabet, called Hangul, with a focus on cultural enrichment.

I want to express and challenge my identity as a Korean designer. I envision that the ideal situation is to lower the barrier of entry for foreigners to learn Hangul and be easily intrigued to study more. I want the designed outcome to be an enriching and mind-opening experience of Korean culture.

Hangul learning app KPIC was developed to engage users actively and to provide an enjoyable personal learning experience. The project focused on improving a Korean mobile learning user experience. The key findings from the initial research of the mobile learning process are that the current apps having lack of cultural learning aspects and have an obsessive streak system that is difficult to maintain. According to the research, designing a mobile app system and learning content that could assist users’ self-directed Korean learning effectively were my design challenges. I investigated what affects productivity and efficiency in continuing to learn a foreign language. I volunteered at Korean Education Centre to conduct my field research. This gave me a great opportunity to carry a user testing with potential users and to get insights into the app directions.

Once I decided on my app directions, I began to sketch the low fidelity prototype to test my ideas and developed through using Adobe XD. I wanted to add audio effects for the lesson feature, and Adobe XD supports the interactions to play audio effects. Most of my testers liked the feature as it gave assurance to their pronunciation. Since over 70% of my round 2 user testing testers used language learning apps before, it was meaningful to see how they liked the proposed speaking feature.

Through the two rounds of user testing and iterative design process, the final prototype had an average rating of 4.4 on its usage. The testing showed positive results on the self-manageable streak system and Korean media integration on learning content. The streak system allows users to shape the learning experience at their own pace without worrying about losing any streaks they have made for the study rewards. Through the media learning content, the learners can learn about the cultural aspect and daily expressions at the same time. Providing such features affects user engagement in the learning process and repeated usage of the app.

My key takeaway from this project is to make the language learning process fun, since I have tried many ways to develop my English, I already had an experience that it should be motivated and fun when learning new things. I enjoyed learning English through watching tv shows that I liked. I realised there're various materials available as learning resources compared to sitting in a boring English class. Thus, I want Korean learners to find their own interesting topics within KPIC app to achieve their learning goals.