1. Vocabulary

Design direction for an online learning platform.

Vocabulary.com is an adaptive platform that improves literacy in students from 5th grade through high school. The platform has also become an essential tool for ESL students (English as a Second Language). The first project I undertook as design director was to redesign and dramatically expand the system of badges (over 100) available for student achievements.

  1. The system of 20 levels is integral to Vocabulary.com’s gamified system—each level represents the overall progress that a student has made. I hired an illustrator to help create an entirely new set of badges for our gamified system.

  2. The existing names for each level were super creative, with names like Vocabularian, Sesquipedalianist, Walking (and Running) Dictionary, Verbivore, Maven, Sage, and more. We saw no need to change these, and based the concepts for our new illustrated characters off this existing framework.

  3. The Maven (Level 7) represents a level of sophisticated learning that students yearn to achieve. Our characters are crafted to have a personality, sense of humor, and represent the increasingly higher level of achievement that students are reaching.

  4. Sage (Level 10). Everything is fine.

  5. Polymath (Level 13) is very focused.

  6. Running Dictionary (Level 18) working up a sweat.

  7. Mastered 50 Words. This means that a student learned multiple contexts for each word (4 or more contexts), and has achieved a level of mastery for this word.

  8. 200 Words Mastered. Our goal with this series of badges was to indicate a progression (using light) and infuse a sense of humor into the series.

  9. Mastered 3,000 Words—a pretty big achievement. The cows couldn’t agree more, though it appears they don’t have a choice in the matter.

  10. 5,000 Words Mastered. Students earn the power of the sun, because why not?

  11. You’ve Mastered an “A” Word. This means that a student has mastered a word (again, in at least 4 different contexts) that starts with the corresponding letter. We chose to match up different artistic movements with each letter in this series.

  12. When a student completes an activity, they can receive some ice cream if they get every single answer correct. That’s some pretty good motivation if you ask me.

  1. Contributions

    • Copywriting
    • Print Design
    • Product Design
    • Strategy
    • Design Direction
    • Product Management
    • Content Development
  2. Role

    Design Director
  3. Company

  4. Year