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
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).
By inputting a word, there is no need for the user to set the input language as this gets automatically recognized
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.
After a first click prototype done in Flash, we finalized the visualization of our concept with a video prototype.