Barney: Learn English

iOS App

Barney is a language learning application designed to help users enhance their English vocabulary and practical usage. This app features short texts on various topics of varying levels of difficulty to keep the learning process engaging and interesting. Users can select unfamiliar words from the text and add them to their learning list.

My role

Research, Analysis, Product Design, Interaction Design, Design Systems, User-testing.


May 2017 — Nov 2017


XD, Photoshop, Principle

  • Ability to select part of the text and translate without going to third-party applications to translate texts.
  • Ability to add words to the dictionary within the current application
  • Feedback: some applications do not provide feedback that can help the user improve their skills and understanding.
  • Read texts from a variety of sources and be able to highlight unfamiliar words with further study

Satisfy users' needs and help them achieve their English learning goals. To create a user-friendly and effective tool that provides users with all the features and capabilities they need to improve their language skills.

This includes:

  • Developing a feature to highlight and translate parts of text within the application.
  • Adding a built-in dictionary.
  • Providing feedback for users with a special test to check the knowledge gained.
  • Adding user own texts from various sources.
User Research

The user research stage of Barney's development process involved conducting interviews, surveys, and usability tests with individuals who were interested in learning English.

During the interviews, I asked questions about their language learning experiences, motivations, and goals. I also asked about their preferred methods of learning, as well as their pain points when it comes to language learning.


Age: 45
Business Owner

Pain Point

Alex finds it difficult to read and comprehend English texts due to his limited vocabulary.


Age: 27

Pain Point

Difficulty in understanding and using English idioms and expressions in conversations and writing.


Age: 19

Pain Point

Difficulty in retaining new vocabulary words.

Finally, we conducted usability tests to gather feedback on the app's design and features. We observed users as they interacted with the app and asked them to provide feedback on their experience.

Style Guide

I developed a style guide that would provide guidelines for all visual design decisions. The style guide included a color palette, typography, and iconography that would convey the app's fun and playful personality. I also established guidelines for how these design elements should be used across different screens and layouts, ensuring a cohesive look and feel throughout the app.

Final Design

The main screen displays all the necessary information at once, including the number of words learned, the number of words in training, and the button to access training. To make the app more engaging, we added a system of levels and rewards as a game element. Additionally, we included an extensive library of texts, featuring excerpts from popular shows, movies, cartoons, books, and magazines to provide users with a variety of materials and keep them interested in the app.

When users navigate to the dictionary, they can easily see the number of new words added and the source text from which each word was extracted. To help users memorize new words, we use a flash card technique that presents the word, its pronunciation, and multiple translation options. Our app also includes a special algorithm that tracks the number of correct answers, allowing users to evaluate their progress and level of memorization. To make it even more convenient for users, we include a special icon next to each word in the list that indicates how well it has been memorized.

Users have the option to read the initial content of the text and add it to their library for later reading. Our quick translation feature allows users to easily translate any word or text without leaving the app. Simply by highlighting a word or text on the current page, users can see its translation, listen to its pronunciation, and even add it to their study list. This ensures that users can quickly and conveniently understand any unfamiliar words or phrases they encounter while reading.

Testing feature allows users to evaluate their knowledge of the English language, empowering them to take control of their language learning journey and track their progress over time.

Color accents and icons are used throughout the app to help users easily navigate and intuitively understand what is required of them in each window or screen.

Users can check the status of their subscription and are encouraged to try the app for free with a 7-day trial, or to sign up for a 12-month subscription at a 50% discount. These discounts and free trial periods increase conversion rates and improve user retention.

© 2023 Eugene Lazebny.