Case Study


Using video games to make languages more fun to learn

— Project Background —

GengoGames is an educational video game app, consisting of a collection of mini games and resources to help make learning languages a hobby instead of a chore.
(Side note: gengo (言語) means language in Japanese!)

Role & Responsibilities
• UX design
• UX research
• Visual & brand design
• Video game design

Rikiya Klasen (solo passion project)

• Figma
• Adobe XD, Illustrator, After Effects & Photoshop

Project Duration
March - June 2023

— Project Backstory —

Lack of Engaging & Effective Language Learning Games

As the final portfolio project for my UX bootcamp, I was inspired by my part-time job as a Japanese tutor to design a video game app to help make languages more fun and engaging compared to current popular language learning apps.

This portfolio project also turned out to be my biggest passion project, as I have a strong desire to step into the video game industry.

— The Gaming Experience —

How Does GengoGames Work?

I first completed foundational research, which consisted of synthesizing the experiences and features of competitors, which are various language learning apps as well as online video game websites.

I discovered that my target users have a frustrating time looking for apps or websites that teach them language in a fun but more importantly effective manner. Some users also wish that their Japanese teachers were better at doing their job.

— Initial Design Process —

Putting Pieces Together... Figuratively and Literally

To figure out what elements I want incorporated into GengoGames, I first sketched out some paper wireframes for the overall navigation of the app, as well as sketches of various game ideas within the app.

Sketches of various mini game ideas within the app

Paper wireframes for the overall navigation of the app's homepage

— High Fidelity Designs —

The Game Platform

Based on usability study insights, I made each game thumbnail less overwhelming, simplified the visual design, and added a feature that lets users see what language level they are at.

The high-fidelity prototype also goes through an onboarding process that initially assesses the user's language level, before getting taken to the homepage.



Keigo Champ (mini game)