Missionary Chatbot

Creating a language practice tool for missionaries in a language learning app. This tool uses a chatbot to mimic everyday situations.

Missionary Chatbot

Creating a language practice tool for missionaries in a language learning app. This tool uses a chatbot to mimic everyday situations.

Missionary Chatbot

Creating a language practice tool for missionaries in a language learning app. This tool uses a chatbot to mimic everyday situations.

TL;DR

New feature designed to enhance the language learning process for LDS missionaries by providing realistic conversational practice. In response to initial user feedback, which indicated that new users struggled with the AI conversations, we developed and integrated help features to aid in navigation and usability. This improvement is aimed at ensuring all missionaries, regardless of their starting language proficiency, can effectively engage with and benefit from the technology.

Impact

Increase in user confidence

The help features have significantly boosted missionaries' confidence, enabling them to engage more fully with the AI conversations.

Increase in engagement

Initial reports indicate increased user engagement, with missionaries spending more time interacting with the app, thereby enhancing their language acquisition.

Background

Embark is a language learning app used by LDS missionaries. With the rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the opportunity to leverage this technology to enhance language learning has become apparent. The Machine Learning (ML) team, having done all the groundwork on AI capabilities and potential applications, approached the design team with the initial idea and a proposal to develop Embark’s first AI feature.

Goal

This collaboration aimed to enable missionaries to practice common scenarios they might encounter on their missions, providing valuable feedback to help them improve their language skills.

Research

Our journey began with an extensive examination of existing chatbot experiences. Collaborating closely with the ML team, we defined the project requirements with precision. Our exploration into AI image generation sparked creative brainstorming on how to incorporate this technology. To ensure the feature's relevance and effectiveness, the ML team conducted surveys to pinpoint scenarios that resonated strongly with missionaries.

Character images generated during our research

Design

Brainstorming

Armed with clear requirements, each member of the design team crafted wireframe concepts. These initial designs were then collectively reviewed, merging the strongest elements from each to form a cohesive design approach.

Initial wireframe concepts

Testing

Upon developing our initial design, we tested a prototype with five missionaries. The feature was well-received, highlighting its potential impact. However, during these sessions, we identified areas needing improvement:

Struggle of new missonaries

Missionaries with limited language experience struggled with unfamiliar words.

Struggle of new missonaries

Missionaries with limited language experience struggled with unfamiliar words.

Message Counter counfusion

The wording of the message counter confused users.

Message Counter counfusion

The wording of the message counter confused users.

Solution

Dynamic Characters

To maintain engagement, dynamic characters are generated for each scenario, reflecting the demographics of the missionary's assigned mission area. Each scenario’s goals slightly vary to enhance the learning experience, accompanied by a newly generated character image.

2 example characters and scenarios

Scenario Bar

Testing revealed users often scrolled to revisit the scenario description. We introduced a scenario bar allowing users to tap and open a sheet displaying the character's image and the scenario’s objective.

Scenario bar shown (Left)

Tap for meaning

Noticing that newer missionaries were unfamiliar with some words used by the chatbot, we added a 'tap for meaning' feature. This allows users to tap any word from the chatbot to see its translation and save it for later study.

Assistant

We added an assistant feature to help new missionaries. It translates words for conversations. It also suggests conversation topics if needed.

Conclusion

The Embark app now has an AI feature to help LDS missionaries learn languages. This is an important step forward. We researched, designed, and improved the tool to address the challenges of language learning. The tool gives missionaries the skills and confidence to communicate effectively in their service.

Future Iterations

In response to feedback received, we plan to enhance the learning experience by integrating links to specific parts of the app for targeted study. This feature will allow users to deep-dive into areas needing improvement, directly from the scenario feedback.

Future Iterations

In response to feedback received, we plan to enhance the learning experience by integrating links to specific parts of the app for targeted study. This feature will allow users to deep-dive into areas needing improvement, directly from the scenario feedback.