Speechify

A text to speech application that helps users take control of their reading experience. With a click of a button, you can scan or send any reading content to this mobile app and begin listening with any voice or setting of your choice. With Speechify you can reach reading goals faster and better than before.

Duration: 3 weeks

What's my role here?

In 2019 I came across Speechify and noticed a tweet from the CEO about how he was looking for a UX designer to help build a user-friendly interface for their product. I took this as an opportunity to make this my next case study for better practice in interaction design and to be part of building a product I was deeply passionate about.

Speechify was designed to achieve better and faster reading experience.

After observing the users' interactions and collecting quantitative research, I discovered the product isn't meeting those needs when users begin to listen to the reading content.

Let me paint a picture for you...

Have you ever came across an audio book and thought the voice was plain? This was exactly the kind of situation users were facing but with more than just voice changes.

The positive side is Speechify allows users to make those changes.... if they are aware of the locations of the features.

How can we make these features aware to the user to help reach reading goals faster?

I hypothesize if we changed the layout of the setup buttons to be more accessible it would take less time for the user to change settings and more time listening.

Business Goals:

Speechify would like their app to look and feel like something their potential users would be happy to use on a weekly bases.

User Goals:

Make features more aware to the users and allow easy access to changes when needed.

Understanding Speechify users by collecting online data, user interviews, and conducting user testing observations.

After connecting with the founder of Speechify, I discovered who the target users were and then was able to collect more data from reviews. After conducting user interviews and observing how the app would be used; I was able to collect common findings:

Key findings:

1) Users would like to change voices to fit the content they are reading.

2) Users would like to read along with the voice to improve reading skills.

Observation findings:

1) Users became frustrated when changing voices & speed because of flow set up.

2) Users had a hard time finding text change and were not aware of it.

Does Speechify offer enough resources to build the best reading experience?

After empathizing with Speechify users, I began to wonder if we even had enough resources to allow users to have full control of their reading experience? This led me to conduct a competitive analysis to see how other businesses build accessible features.

Giving users more resources to changes within a wireframe for observation.

After seeing how competitors are tackling this problem, I began to wonder how Speechify's users would interact with a similar interface. Turns out I offered too much control to the users because the amount of settings overwhelmed them with more time to make changes (similar case to hicks law) which led me in the wrong direction.

Before digging in a deeper hole, I discovered an "AHA!" moment.

Even though I went the wrong direction, I still collected some useful information that led me in the right direction. During testing, I discovered key useful resources such as Voice, Speed, Font (size & style), and dark/light mode.

This then led me to sketch out ways we can only allow users control those 4 features....

Another "AHA!" moment appeared once I began sketching solutions.

As I struggled to find the best solution, I then reflected back on my recent user testing notes and remembered that the solution was already made! The only problem I had was offering too much control. The flow of making changes and have quick access on the bottom was still a positive result.

This then made me wonder if we could have the features under the play button (like a nav bar). After getting a developers insight, I got the thumbs up to continue creating this idea.

Trying different micro-interactions to give that nice feedback to the users.

I started playing with different interactions to see what would be the best fit. This was challenging because while coming up with these amazing interactions I have to also keep in mind of what the feedback is to the user when interacting with this setting.

The left design maybe faster with the scale but I was missing type face changes (for reading along) and the done button came in really late for feedback to the user. The right design is something users are familiar with for exiting and the feedback shows while seeing the text size change.

This then led from one idea to another and things began to make sense.

Below you can see how the new layout and flow works. After testing with 5 new volunteers I was able to reach my goals based on observation and review.

Check out the interactive prototype!

What happened after this case study?

After the project was complete I sent the case study to the founder of Speechify and shared why this was something to be looked at down the road map. There were other projects that were more of priority so I didn't get to move forward to delivering but the case study was well earned through an educational experience of the next project that comes my way.