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UX Research Projects

Diary Study: Educational App

I conducted a diary study of an existing product with a new user group in order to better understand user attitudes, motivations and usage scenarios.

<My Role>

Senior Researcher (team of 2)


I was the product researcher that was responsible for developing a new product. But as part of the new product ideation, I initiated this diary study as a generative user research study with an existing product.

<Background and Goals>

ARpedia is an AR children’s book that was initially written in Korean for the Korean market and later translated into English to be sold in the US. As part of the product localization (US) strategy, the team wanted to identify what product modifications they needed to make in order to account for the different cultural and market characteristics of the US target users. Therefore, a remote diary study was conducted with local users in order to better understand their attitudes, motivations and usage scenarios of ARpedia in the United States.

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<Research Questions>
  1. In what capacity do users engage with the product?
    How do users use the product at home?
    How do users use the product at school?

  2. Can users use the AR reading device and book independently without adult help?

  3. What aspects of ARpedia are engaging and fun? What motivates users to use it?

  4. Are there under-served user needs?

<Challenges and Limitations>
  1. Studies were conducted 100% remotely because of COVID-19 restrictions, which made recruitment and facilitation of studies difficult. 

  2. Due to the nature of a children’s educational product, there were two different types of users to take into consideration: primary (children) and secondary (parents/teachers).

  3. Primary (children) users were unable to directly participate in the diary studies. Instead, secondary (parents/teachers) users made and recorded observations of these primary users.


Diary Study Plan

  1. Pre-Study brief with participants;

  2. 2-week logging period;

  3. Post-study interviews (30 min session/ea.);

  4. Data analysis


10 adults (5 parents and 5 teachers of children between 5 and 9 years old in the US).

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Remote interview with participant

<Crucial Insights>
  1. Children enjoyed the interactive activities of the product and were motivated to use it again because they have limited experience with AR books (new exposure). They especially enjoyed AR activities with paper markers. This resulted in increased engagement levels and a higher desire to repeat the product. Also, the product usage time was found to be positively correlated to increased reading times.

  2. In a home setting, children were able to use the product independently without adult supervision most of the time, which freed up time for parents to complete house chores or focus on work without having to worry about taking care of their children. However, parents needed to help with the initial set-up and understanding of product features because it was very complex and foreign (different from traditional paper books).

  3. In a classroom setting, students’ motivation for learning a particular subject increased after using ARpedia. Teachers suggested this would be a good learning resource to introduce new topics, or use in learning centers (independent learning) because many topics aligned with curriculum materials. However, in order to do so, sufficient training of how to use the new technology and device is needed.

  4. For most of the time, children (5-9 years old) were able to set up and use the product independently after adults helped them with the initial setup. However, younger children needed help throughout their product experience because the physical books were difficult to hold down (poor usability of paper books). The pages (paper) of the books were a lot thicker and the binding was stronger than most books in the US. App features were easy to navigate and use. → Paper books made in Korea usually have a heavier paper weight and stronger binding (don’t usually use staples to hold the books). 

*For additional findings and learnings, please contact

  1. Simplify the product set-up or create supplementary materials that easily explain the steps for children to do on their own.

  2. Modify physical designs of the paper books (paper weight and binding).

  3. Identify content that aligns with academic standards to emphasize the “learning” value of the product.

  4. Conduct follow-up pilot study with teachers to gain insight on ways to improve the product and make modifications for it to be used in a larger classroom setting.

  1. Created a simple infographic “set-up guide” to help with product set-up.

  2. Change the product specifications of the paper books to match the look and feel of books usually found in the US. 


If given more time and resources, I want to conduct this study with a larger sample to strengthen my findings with more data. Also, a follow-up contextual inquiry study may be beneficial in directly observing the product being used by children.

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