These days, there’s an app to amplify every part of a user’s life. There are apps for scheduling, fitness, organization, communication, and dating — there are even apps that help people decide what to eat when they don’t feel like cooking.
Language apps have become an especially popular tool for those in the educational space. One of the largest barriers to learning a new language is the time and effort that must be dedicated to verbal repetition and grammatical exercises — which is why the ability to take your lesson plan with you is appealing to so many students. Well-designed apps are also highly intuitive, interactive, adaptive, and coax users to form (hopefully good) habits, all of which are excellent for keeping students focused on improving their skills.
So how do developers build an app that expertly facilitates language learning? Follow these tips, and you’ll be helping people master their Spanish, Hindi, French and Arabic in no time.
1. Consider Your Timeline
Do you want your app to be a casual game-type resource? Or is the goal for users to achieve fluency in mere weeks? A good app will structure itself to fit around the timetable of the target user, encouraging him to build habits over time — and in turn, ensuring the predictable and regular return of users.
2. How Will Your App Motivate?
Will your app encourage competition? Will it incorporate elements of game design and video gaming to become both educational and addictive? Incorporating these elements can motivate people to learn via the innate desire to win, rather than relying on external authorities like parents, teachers, and tutors to get them playing again.
3. Ask for Feedback
All developers know that feedback on their apps is crucial — particularly when it comes from real users. Hearing what worked for your users and what didn’t helps you to understand what it is your users are looking for, and what you can do to ensure that your app meets their needs. By embedding methods for users to review or leave feedback in your app, you’ll maintain user interest while improving and growing with your audience.
Similarly, don’t discount the power of engaging with users who have stopped using your app! Attrition is a common challenge in language learning classes, whether on a phone or in a physical classroom. Asking for feedback, especially with occasional, unobtrusive notification nudges, can help you learn what it is about your app that’s turning people off.
4. Don’t Try to Do Everything
Your ultimate goal as a language app builder is to help users acquire a level of proficiency in their language of choice. If you attempt to provide a tool for users to learn grammar, language structure, and syntax, as well as a resource for news, browsing books, listening to music, or even meeting new people, something will inevitably get lost in the shuffle. Focus your efforts on making your app approachable, navigable, and easy to understand, and you’ll help language learners build habits that keep them coming back to your app.
Ready to jump into designing your own language learning app? AppMakr, the original way to #MakeAnApp, can help you get started with drag and drop templates for iPhone, Android, and HTML5 today.
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