Explore ESL

A conceptual iOS app for Adult Education English Language Learners in Florida.

UX Case Study

Explore ESL

A conceptual iOS app for Adult Education English Language Learners in Florida.

Problem Statement

English language learners (ELL) need an Adult Education English as a Second Language (ESL) app to bridge the gaps and allow students to continue to rigorously learn English while or not attending a traditional AE ESL program.


Florida is leading the nation in the immigrant population, with over 4.2 million foreign-born adults in 2018, over 21% of Florida’s population. Out of those 4.2 million people, 24% are ELL and 20% have less than a high school diploma. The influx of immigration to Florida hasn’t ceased due to the pandemic. Last year, 2021, Florida led the nation in immigration in the US. These numbers do not account for the estimated 775,000 undocumented immigrants in Florida.

Objectives & Goals

I am developing an ESL iOS app with rigorous content congruent with the FLDOE ESOL curriculum frameworks.

The app will incorporate the ESL integrated skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking using videos, fill-in-forms, games, and interactivity with instructors.

I began the design process by considering my user and trying to understand what they need and want in an effective ESL app.

Design Process

I needed to consult ESL SMEs and ESL students so I could empathize with not only the ELL user but the ESL teacher as well. It is an academic project, so the content has to be academic and align with FLDOE standards as much as possible.


Research Process

  1. Determine what goals users have for learning English.
  2. Identify the preferred methods of learning English.
  3. Understand the process of prioritizing what is important when learning English.
  4. Learn if there are concerns about online learning.


  • Conduct research about ESL best practices and trends
  • Comparative and competitive research to see what our competitors offer
  • ESL Subject Matter Expert (SME) interviews to find out how users best learn English
  • User interviews to determine best methods to teach ESL online
  • Survey online users (ELL) about ESL learning habits

Assumptions & Risks

  • We might have trouble finding people who currently teaching ESL, since enrollment has been low and/or programs have ceased or been downsized due to COVID.
  • We assume that there is a need for an ESL app due to the high immigrant population and continued growth.
  • We assume to follow the Knowles’ 5 Assumptions Of Adult Learners and ADDIE
  • We assume to know and understand the FLDOE 2021-2022 Adult Education Curriculum Frameworks
  • We assume we understand and how to implement Bloom's Taxonomy

Competitors Analysis

Learning Upgrade
Adult education iOS and Android app for GED and ESL used nationally.


Aligned with national adult ed standards
Basic interface, but too basic for 2022
Reading, Math and ESL with a LMS

Adult ESL app using open source learning materials and videos.

Features :
New brief daily lessons
Speak analyzation and feedback
Play against others/gamification

Information Architecture

Based on my research and surveys, I was able to define my user and develop a persona, Learner Lupe Lopez.


Interaction Design

After I created Lupe based on SME and ELL interviews and surveys, I needed to ideate her experience with the ESL app.

User Task Flow


I started building out the app with wireframes. I needed to have a whole learning lesson for one of the four skills.


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Iteration and Implementation

After several iterations of the UI screens and building out the content. It was time to conduct a usability test. The user flows tested were a new student registration and a Reading lesson.


Final UI Screens

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I found all of the given scenarios flowed through properly without any issues. All of the usability testers were able to easily navigate through the registration process, as well as the Level 1 Reading lesson. I had assumed that ESL students would be able to understand the verbiage and the icons and they did.

Results & Takeaways

I thoroughly enjoyed this project. I love teaching ESL and developing new content for adult students. The build out of the app would have to be a large, involved process with all of the gamification features and a still needs a teacher’s dashboard and LMS.  It has rigorous content and a bright user interface designed with andragogy.

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