Customize your learning experience

Find the perfect instructor with tailored learning material

End to End UI/UX Design
User Research
3 months
(Sep 2021 - Nov 2021)
Frontend - Wanlin Lin, Angela Pan
Backend - DaHung Liu
Product Manager - Trek Lee
Researcher - Sonia Chen
Data Scientist - Kai Huang
UX Writer - Vera Liu


As a Japanese learning platform, We Languages aims to help students learn languages with customized experiences. We provide Japanese learning services to business users such as Google, Rakuten, BMW, and embassies. We’re also available for regular users.

One of the most unique features of We Language is the "Metrix," designed as a nine-square grid system that allows users to specify their goals or interests to help the instructor tailor the learning experience.


As the number of users grows, we increasingly receive feedback that indicates room for improvement. We decided to delve into our users’ behavior to better understand their needs. We conducted an international user research study consisting of a survey, 5 usability tests, and 5 interviews with participants from 4 different countries.

Our research focused on two aspects:

1. Metrix

Whether users find the Metrix useful.

2. Booking process

Does the booking process smooth and efficient?

Early insight

Based on the responses from the survey, we found that:

1. Most users couldn’t find “Metrix” helpful, and some couldn’t even figure out what it was.

2. The lesson booking process confuses users.

We had some hypotheses at this point, assuming that the users had a mental model mismatch of the Metrix system. They might also find the lesson booking process problematic.

Why are these problems worth solving?

Having a mental model mismatch can be frustrating. Users who cannot build mental models successfully will be disappointed and upset, thus damaging the product’s reputation.

The problem of a misleading booking process, on the other hand, can result in confusion when expectations were set but were not met.

Refine problems

Through the comprehensive analysis of the survey, usability tests, and interviews, we concluded 4 major problems:

1. Mental model mismatch


Users are uncertain about how the "Metrix" works. Some users interpreted it as an instructor filtering tool, while others construed it as a learning goal-setting tool. Others even thought it was the topic of the upcoming lesson. However, none of these interpretations were accurate when the courses took place.

“I’m very confused and still have no idea about the Metrix… My goal is to book a lesson now, but I don’t understand why I have no choice if it wants me to input my learning goal.”

2. Too much freedom


Without proper instruction and visual aids, the Metrix filling process can be confusing and overwhelming for users, who may feel uncertain of what to do due to the lack of guidance. As a result, they may resort to entering random words just to proceed to the next step in the booking process.

“It’s kind of useless... there are no categories. What is the small topic used for? Can I put anything? This is very confusing! Ahhhh! ”

“There are just too many topics for learning Japanese. I don’t think the instructor could possibly be prepared for all the topics I entered, especially the unpopular ones.”

3. Unmet expectation


Users have the misunderstanding that they can filter instructors based on the Metrix topic due to the misleading booking process order. However, we do not have any filter system, which leads to confusion whenever a user tries to book a lesson.

“It seemed like the topic of Metrix determined which instructor can I choose. However, I think the topic is very loosely tied to the instructor or the classes.”

4. Navigation problem


The interface and navigation system of the Metrix edit page was intimidating for most of the users.

“The interface is not consistent to me. I will quit editing after entering a few Metrix topics because it’s too frustrating for me.”

"It’s not user-friendly. I didn’t know I could click here.”

“This system is difficult to use. I can’t tell whether I have entered the Metrix topic or not”

Problem statement

How might we create a smooth and pleasant customized learning experience?


To address the problems, I developed two different solutions by creating different mental models and corresponding wireframes.


  • Keep the “Metrix” system, a beloved feature for the stakeholders from the business side.
  • Create a new interest tag for students to match instructors based on their interests.


  • Redesign the “Metrix” system and change it to the “Learning goal”.
  • Create a new interest tag for students to match instructors based on their interests.

Both solutions changed the order of the booking process, and they also both have a new interest matching system. The only difference is that solution 1 kept the “Metrix” system, while solution 2 breaks down the “Metrix” into “Learning goal” and “Interest,” as users often get mixed ideas.

After numerous discussions with various stakeholders, we have an agreement to implement solution 2 and trade off the “Metrix” for a simpler and more intuitive booking process.

Design result

Find your perfect instructor right away

Want to discuss your interests, hobbies, or ideas with your instructor? Not a problem.

Learning goal, the new Metrix

No more complicated Metrix boxes to fill. Just a few clicks and your lesson is ready to go.

Experience the ease of an intuitive booking process

Book a lesson in two steps – select the instructor, choose the time, and you’re all set!

Say goodbye to Metrix editing

You no longer have to edit the complex Metrix system to book a perfect lesson. Just pick a topic you’re interested in and we’ll do the rest.

Details behind the magic

1. Interests matching system

To address the issue of users having different perceptions and mental models about the Metrix feature, I broke it down into "Interest" and "Learning goal" and ensured that the right information appeared at the appropriate time. The interests matching system can help students find instructors with shared interests.

To create a list of general interest options, I also discussed with members of We Language and gathered ideas from instructors, who have a deep understanding of their students' needs.

2. Smooth goal-setting experience

In addition to "Interest," the "Learning goal" serves as the learning topic for upcoming classes. To address the problem of users feeling uncertain about what to do due to a lack of guidance, I reinvented how users interacted with the topic. They can now choose it from a comprehensive list of topics, rather than filling out the confusing Metrix system. They can also filter instructors by learning goals.

3. Intuitive booking process

Users misunderstand that they can filter instructors based on the Metrix topic due to the misleading booking process. They also feel confused during the booking process, particularly when asked to fill out the Metrix. Additionally, they find it annoying that they have to enter the Metrix in order to see the available instructors.

To improve the booking process, I have changed the order and simplified it to two steps. Users may specify any learning goals or inquiries at their convenience, rather than navigating through a lengthy and complicated process.

4. Brand new dashboard

Users often become frustrated and hesitant to use the Metrix editing system due to its poor usability. Since I have broken down the “Metrix” into “Interest” and “Learning goals,” I redesigned the dashboard to be more concise, clear, and intuitive.

To make the process as simple as possible, I focused on streamlining the interest editing process. I also kept the nine-square grid interface for users to track their learning goals and learning record.

Beyond research & design

Release note experience

As the new version is ready to be rolled out, we decided to try a new approach to announce it. We designed a release banner above the home page, which led to a release note page introducing the new features, improvements, and bug fixed.

RICE prioritization framework

After completing some projects, I noticed that most of the user research outcomes were not incorporated into the development process in our company. To fully exploit the research insight, I organized a workshop on the RICE prioritization framework and invited all stakeholders involved in the research and planning process to focus on the critical issues.

I also shared the pros and cons of introducing the RICE framework with all the product teams. This framework helped us focus on the most crucial problems of our product.


With data provided by the data scientist, we observed that the satisfaction rate surged to 95%.

Reflection & Takeaway

I’ve tried many things in this project, including initiating a RICE model prioritization workshop, developing solutions based on mental models, and designing a release note experience on various channels. All of these efforts resulted in rewarding outcomes, and I am grateful for the trust and flexibility provided by our team. These experiences inspired me to develop more versatile skills and expand my influence beyond product design.

Another thing is that I found that freedom may be beneficial, but providing the necessary help is key to a successful user experience. Through my research, I observed firsthand the negative consequences of excessive freedom. Navigating the balance between autonomy and guidance can be challenging but essential for effective products.