The folks at Livemocha, an online language learning community, came to Blue Flavor looking for a community-driven redesign that would help engage and connect their customers.
We approached the Livemocha project in a bit of a different way than we would a typical web site redesign. All projects warrant a bit of a tailored approach and Livemocha was no different.
We’ve got a solid process, but we know when (and how) to tweak it to best suit the tasks at hand!
Livemocha came to us with a very limited timeframe, a small-ish budget and some very specific goals in mind. Byran Hurren, Livemocha’s Director of Product Marketing, describes the project:
“Livemocha had a limited budget and an even more constrained time frame. We needed an agency with experience designing social applications, not just corporate marketing sites.”
And that’s what they got! We decided, as we often do, to focus on their community and let them guide us to the best solution.
We took the time trying to really understand what their community was looking for and how they’d be interacting with the site. We tried to put ourselves in their shoes. With a dash of empathy, a pinch of solid research and a dusting of in-depth discovery, we began to sort out some of their goals.
These goals were mostly related to overall ease of use and making connections. We felt it was important to design a system that enabled people to get through easily and also facilitated those connections that make the experience of learning a new language online a great one.
Most of our initial work was spent trying to refine flows and determine what activities their users would be engaged in with their system. We worked out new, simplified and more engaging process flows, began to explore new ways of organizing their content and even brought in a content expert to help smooth out the rough spots (After all, the web, like language learning, is about words!).
We explored different ways their users could connect, and discovered how best to display information to help facilitate those connections. Livemocha needed to be easy to use, yet not get in the way of great connection and communication.
Things got a bit tricky once we nailed down flows, interaction and layout, as there wasn’t much in the way of established branding guidelines. At this point we let the community guide us again and with that solid foundation designed something we thought would fit well with the feel of their community, product and emerging brand attributes.
The folks at Livemocha were very happy with the result. When asked about the project Byran had this to say:
“Blue Flavor designed an intuitive and beautiful site that encourages members to create valuable connections, the most important aspect in online collaborative language learning. In under 4 months, Livemocha has grown to over 150,000 registered, highly-engaged, members. In a recent customer survey, 96% of Livemocha’s members have said that Livemocha is easy to use, and 100% have said they like the user interface.”
Those are some impressive numbers! It looks like all that hard work and thought paid off. We’re so happy to have been a part of the Livemocha project and wish them continued success in all their endeavors.
Have a similar problem? Interested in our services? Tell us about your project, we'd love to help.