Translation App

A Translation App specifically designed for people who shop in foreign countries to facilitate their shopping experience.

2 Weeks
UX & UI Design
Adobe XD


Traveling abroad is an exciting experience, but living in a country where speaks the language you are not familiar with is often very terrifying. How do you communicate with local people, transport from place to place, or doing basic shopping when you can neither articulate what you want nor read words or labels?


With features such as translating sentences, spoken words, and labels on objects that users may encounter in their daily life, this translation app is specifically designed for people who shop in foreign countries. Users can create their shopping lists, view pictures of the item they want to buy, show the translation to sales associates to obtain additional help, and verify the objects they are buying using the app.


Voice Translation

Users can voice-input objects or sentences they want to translate by pressing the mic icon. They can expand the translation to full screen and show to other people.


Switch Language

The system will automatically detect the input language. Users can change the language they want to translate to.


Photo Translation

Users can take a photo of the object or words they want to translate. They can also view more detail about the object.


check details

Users can view more information about the object they want to buy. The bounce of the card indicating users can pull it up. There are multiple photos for users to refer to in case the look of the object varies in different places.



Instead of comparing the vocabulary word by word to check out the object, users can quickly verify if the item is the one they want to buy by scanning it.



Instead of writing down a long shopping list on a paper, users can create personalized shopping lists in the app. The app will also recommend the specific list based on users' locations.




A good translation app is usually easy to use and clear with the primary functions.  


Users should be able to receive fast and instant translation through the voice and photo-input.  


Suggestions for frequent/common dialogues on different occasions help facilitate conversation in foreign countries


I interviewed three people who had been living in foreign countries. I asked about their experience of living abroad and the challenges of language barriers, especially the ones related to shopping, to find out users’ pain points and potential design opportunities.

"It took me a long time to verify if the object is the one I want. I have to pair the words on labels with the translation word by word."

"People just can't understand what I am asking for."



It is difficult and time-consuming for people to compare words on labels with the translation in the dictionary one by one, to make sure it is the object they want to buy.


People usually lack information about the object they want to buy.


It is hard for people to articulate what they want using the language they are not fluent with.

Design Goals

With the research findings and insights in mind, I established 3 main goals for the app:


Ensure fast and accurate translation services for people who are in foreign countries.


Provide users with enough info about the objects they want to buy.


Ease and facilitate the process of shopping in foreign countries.


Initially, I came up with three ideas of the translation app that could facilitate users' shopping experience in foreign countries. The first two ideas were improvements to existing translation apps; one focused more on the voice translation, while the other one focused more on photo translation. The first two ideas were improvements to existing translation apps. One focused more on the voice translation, while the other one focused more on photo translation. The third idea was a cooking translation app. Users can find recipes they like, and the app will provide them with a list of items information, including items' translations, and which markets users can get these objects.


I didn't want to just design a traditional translation app. Therefore, I chose to proceed with the third idea - designing an app specifically for people who cook in foreign countries. Users can search for recipes they wanted to cook, and add the ingredients and materials they need to buy to the shopping list. The app would show which markets has the items and direct users to the destination.


However, I realized that these features had made the app more like a cooking app instead of a translation app. Therefore, after multiple variations, I went back to my original ideations, and combined all of them. I reorganized my information architecture of the app and shifted my focus back on translation as the primary function.

The final version is no longer just a cooking app. While its primary function is still translation, users can also use the app as a shopping list to check and add items they need to buy.


Conduct usability testings

Because this is only a 2-week project, I didn't spend that much time interviewing potential users or conducting usability testings. To continue the project, I will test out the high fidelity prototype, gathering user feedback, to further improve the flow and interface.

Refine micro-interactions

This was my first time designing micro-interactions. Within the 2 weeks, I explored different platforms a little bit and quickly landed on Adobe XD. It was challenging; I had to learned XD in a short period of time. The final result was imperfect, but I am satisfied with the basic micro-interactions I had. For the next step, I would love to refine and add more micro-interactions in order to give more personalities and interactivity to the app.

What I learned

Through this fast-paced project, I learned how to adapt to feedback and make changes based on it quickly. During the initial stage of the project, I was a bit stuck with making a cooking app, because I didn't want to design another traditional translation app. But I soon realized that I had diverted from the project goal, which was to redesign a translation app. Therefore, I quickly made adjustments on the UX flow, and created the prototype.

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