Riding the wave of ChatGPT, I led the design of this AI-empowered tool that helps English learners improve their efficiency in memorizing vocabulary.


3 weeks




0-1 product, B2C


User research, strategy, interaction & visual design


  • As the sole designer, I both led it and corresponded with the development and leadership team

  • I conducted multiple rounds of research

  • I produced sketches, wireframes, and mockups

  • I delivered final assets and documents, supervised development, and verified the live product

qualifications to highlight

  • Ability to lead critical projects and provide high-quality deliverables under tight deadlines and intense pressure.

  • Facilitate alignment among challenging stakeholders during difficult conversations.


Racing with the devil

In order to stay ahead of our competition and secure a significant user base before others catch up,  I was asked to deliver the final design in 3 weeks, starting from scratch.



To ensure that we create products that meet the needs of our users while fulfilling market demand, I adjusted the typical design process with rapid research and design iterations.

typical Design process

3-6 months

reframed Design process

week 1
week 2
week 3
discover & define
User Interview
Stakeholder Interview
Product Strategy Canvas
Job Mapping (JTBD)
Problem Statement
Visual Design
Design Hand-offs
test & prioritize
Usability Test
Value vs. Complexity Matrix


User Interview
8 participants, 4 days
Job Map
to identify patterns, 0.5 day
Empathy workshop
to prioritize user needs, 0.5 day
Alignment workshop
to develop strategy, 0.5 day


Users find it difficult to retain learned vocabulary because of the lack of limited exposure in unfamiliar settings
Users allocate substantial effort towards creating manual lists because they need to prioritize less-known ones
Users perceive digital tools as supplemental references because they trust the authority of their printed textbooks that demand prolonged use


Through an alignment workshop, we successfully identified a research-based value proposition and established clear business goals to guide the design.

previous problem statement

English learners need a solution that can help them more effectively retain and recall new words, so that they can improve their overall language proficiency and feel more confident in their ability to communicate in English.

REfined problem statement based on reserach

English learners struggle to retain vocabulary due to limited exposure in unfamiliar settings. How might we help them easily review and practice vocabulary in their spare time, so that they can perform well on tests and build their overall language proficiency?

key experience


Immerse yourself in reading  paragraphs that are specifically crafted to include your desired target words.

Learn words in complete and new contexts
Smart Recommendation

key experience


With our robust dictionary at your fingertips, you'll find yourself making rapid progress and retaining new words more efficiently

Update familiarity and make progress
Basic & Advanced learning cards

key experience


Greeted with a comprehensive  daily report, you'll stay on top of your vocabulary building journey and pass the tests with ease.

Robust analytics for tracking

Iterations of key experiences

Main Navigation


Users learn new words under one tab, while reading paragraphs made up of the new words under another tab.


Users read and learn the words in one place.

Users got lost because the app’s inability to prioritize learning tasks.
Value prop
Cutting unnecessary features aligns with our value proposition of simplicity.
Value prop
Our goal is to promote the immersive reading experience for our users.

Iterations of key experiences

Read & Learn


Users are required to learn all target words after reading a paragraph.


Users focus on reading and look up words at will.

Users wasted time browsing through words they had already mastered.
Users lacked control and flexibility for efficient information retrieval during lookup.
Value prop
Our goal is to provide an simplistic and immersive reading experience


A cacophony of voices

As we entered the design phase, feedback from various stakeholders including the CEO, engineers, and PMs started to hinder our progress.


Focus on the must-haves

To prioritize must-have features over nice-to-haves among overwhelming ideas, I conducted a workshop and utilized a value vs. complexity matrix.

Value vs. Complexity

I held a workshop using the prioritization framework to focus on the product's value proposition, eliminate unnecessary features, and reach agreement on MVP and next steps.

MVP features
MVP features
Moved to Backlog
MVP features


During onboarding, users are presented with the value proposition and have the option to choose a vocabulary book.

MVP features


Users are prompted to complete a tutorial to familiarize themselves with the key experiences.

MVP features


Unsubscribed users are prompted to purchase a membership when they reach the daily limit for paragraphs and advanced learning features.

Post-MVP features

Compete with friends

Users can lock the ranking system and earn points, badges, and titles as you read the paragraphs!

beta users

After one month since its launch, the app has boasted an impressive user base of over 100 beta testers.

SUS score

We conducted a survey among 50 active users, resulting in a notable SUS score of 72.

round of funding

The CEO pitched the proposal with the design and slides I created, and secured a substantial amount of seed funding.


“Fast, good, or cheap - pick two.”
arrow down

In a red ocean, good is not an option. Neither are fast and cheap the ultimate goals. The true essence lies in collaborative estimation of time and resources upfront, forging a unified vision for the MVP's scope, and relentlessly pursuing its creation against all odds.

“We spend a lot time designing the bridge, but not enough time thinking about the people who are crossing it.”
Not crossing

Through in-depth interviews with individuals who haven't used mobile apps for English learning, we unearthed valuable insights that profoundly influenced our ultimate value proposition.