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TED iOS Redesign


I joined the Mobile and Platforms team at TED Conferences as a UX/UI designer in November 2016. Since then, I’ve been working on features and improvements to be rolled out in this iOS redesign project.


UX/UI Designer


TED Conferences

Methods Used

User Interviews, User surveys, User journey map, Personas

Design Questions

We identified a lot of opportunities to improve the current iOS app. The following are some of the key design questions that we were focusing on for the MVP.

Tools Used

Sketch, InVision, Zeplin, Framer


Nov. 2016 - Dec. 2018

How can we incorporate a better audio listening experience?

Other than watching TED Talks, listening to TED Talk audio and TED Radio Hour has been a popular way to consume TED content. As more TED podcasts were going to be rolled out, we wanted to incorporate audio content, which was poorly implemented, to be a first-class citizen in our app.

How can we provide a more personalized experience? 

TED content is widely distributed among mobile app, web, social media (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter…), and other platforms. Harnessing the advantages of a mobile app, such as easy login and direct notification push, we were thinking about how we can turn app users into loyal fans by creating a more personalized and engaging experience. 

How can we create a better experience for non-English users?

78% of our mobile app users live outside of the United States. Almost half of the mobile app users have their device language in non-English. We are in urgent need to not only localize our apps but also account for diverse behaviors of users speaking over 110 languages. 

Use gamification elements wisely.

Gamification elements can boost user engagement dramatically. However, extrinsic reward like rating system is usually only able to create a short-term effect. When implemented poorly, it could potentially diminish the intrinsic motivation that many users have already established with TED. 

Cross-cultural design is more than translation.

When designing for the international audience, design has to consider not only translation but also user habits and cultural conventions. For example, one solution to simplify design in English might actually be problematic in another language.

Current Progress and My Achievements

This redesign project is currently under development, so I can only share the high-level status of the features I’m working on. More in-depth design details will be shared after the product is officially launched.

Better audio incorporation:

Through user interviews, we were able to further understand the audio listening scenarios and user needs. I then created a user journey map and user personas to synthesize findings and better inform design. Designs have been iterated from wireframes to finalized UI.

Personalized and engaging design:

I conducted a competitive analysis to understand the rules of thumb around personalization. We have chosen promising ideas from a brainstorming session, and I iterated them into UI.

Better experience for non-English users:

Throughout the redesign, I was able to point out the potential flaws for international users through user surveys and usability testings. With the needs of a larger audience than English speakers bear in mind, we were able to craft a more inclusive design. The dual and "fallback" subtitles feature was prototyped and then launched on Android.

Current Progress
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