Initial situation — Looking for translations when one is talking more than two languages can be frustrating: it often forces to make some back und forth between different dictionaries as the words that come to one's mind randomly come from the whole range of the languages that are practiced. Thanks to online dictionaries like Google Translate, the transitions have been improved but there is still room for improvement.

Approach — With the task to experiment the design of a simple software with standard GUI elements, we iteratively designed an interface reflecting the needs of two possible types of users: people with a bilingual education and pupils.

Result — We created a user interface concept practically removing the need of setting source and translation languages beforehand. It also seamlessly integrates monolingual dictionaries and enables the user to keep track and organize the encountered vocabulary


  • Market analysis
  • Personas
  • User scenarios
  • Sketching
  • Paper prototyping
  • Wireframes
  • Max OS X screen design
  • Flash & Video prototyping

In collaboration with Gunnar Friedrich

Supervised by Timm Kekeritz and Frank Rausch at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany

App features

Thesaurus definitions and translations in one single interface

Depending on the preset output language, the user actually gets either a translation or a thesaurus definition (if the input language is identical to the output language).


Auto-completion and automatic language detection

By inputting a word, there is no need for the user to set the input language as this gets automatically recognized


Optimized for back-translations

If the user is not sure about the validity of the translation (which happens a lot when a foreign language is not perfectly mastered), there is a way to quickly “back-translate” in order to check if the context still fits.


Video prototype

After a first click prototype done in Flash, we finalized the visualization of our concept with a video prototype.

Sketches & paper prototype

We heavily used hand sketches and a paper prototype in order to define the interactions taking place within the software.