Redesigning a new
learning experience


When I joined Busuu one of my first project was to redesign the exercises.

The goal of the project was to align the design between the different platform and mostly important to be consistent through all the exercises types in order to improve usability and ease of development.

My Role

As Lead Product Designer on the project I worked closely with Product Manager and Education team on discovering problems, doing research and running workshops.

I then explored solutions, validate them through user testing and worked side by side with developers on the implementation.


Consistency between exercises

Because the exercises were being designed one at the time from different designers in the course of the years, all of them had different rules and component were different between them

Poor feedback provided

When answering a question we only say correct or incorrect, without giving more informations, so it was difficult to learn from the errors


Accessibility was a big problem we wanted to address


Design system as shared language

In order to have consistency and unify the exercises between types and platforms we needed to build a flexible design system to be shared amongst all of the exercises on all of the platforms.

To do this we analysed all the different type of exercises we have and break them down in common components.

Accessibility as feature

There were few problems about accessibility with the old design, the main problem was on the answer feedback, red and green side by side usually look really similar for colour blind users.

Keyboard shortcuts were missing also for the web platform, these would actually impact all the users, reducing  time spent to finish an activity.

Looking at these 2 main problems we started to design for everyone and using accessibility best practices to create a better experience for all users.


Breaking down the big project

Considering the big amount of type exercises we have the entire project would take 6 months to build. Because we were working on other features in the same time we had to prioritise the exercises and components to build in order to ship improvements on the exercises while launching new features.

First user experience is a big part of the whole experience and it's how the app is presented to the user for the first time. Because of this we want users to start a first lesson as quicker as possible, start learning and reaching the Aha! moment.

We went through the first lessons in our 5 most learned languages and print out the exercises we use. We analysed then the common component and prioritise them.

In this way we built most of the components there were used in the first lessons and created the most used exercises type pretty quickly.


The exercises redesign was rolled out on Android and Web during 1 year and on iOS the development is still in progress, for this reason is not easy to understand how the redesign moved any KPI.

We have been monitoring some KPI and – together with a survey sent to active users after the release on web – we are pretty sure that some changes were heavily impacted by the new design.

~ 70%
Increase on general retention
~ 4%
Increase on Activation
(Activity started - Activity finished funnel)
~ 5%
Increase on average number of exercises graded per user per day
1m 45s
Reduced median time to complete an activity (From 1m 53s)