Yahoo - Dictionary

An app that takes what used to be a static dictionary experience and turns into to a dynamic, visually stunning, relevant, and immersive user experience.

The beginning

The early beginnings of this projects started in a hackday event, when my colleage had an idea to create a dictionary app to help people who are not native speakers.

The process took 2 days of planning, I needed to research, make questionnaire survey, make storyboards, sketch wireframe and flow. I got a questionnaire answered by 50 people. We found out there’s no dictionary app especially design for people who love to travel around the world. Then we started to build the hack idea within 1 day.

Idea Exploration to Implementation

Prototyping with framer.js

I built iterative prototypes based on our findings and hypothesiss. I observed user's behavior interacting with dictionary prototypes and gained the first-hand feedbacks from them to improve my design. You can click the navbar and type "yellow" or "yell" to try this prototype.

Visually Stunning

Humans are visual animals.
Dictionary should not just be text after text after text.

Relevant knowledge

With Flickr integration, we can match keyword to relevant images and provide what used to be a boring experience to a photo-rich experience.


No longer just a standard input text box and click to search. Related images can be displayed instantly as you type. Users can also use the camera, microphone, even the screen for keyword input.


Have you ever read an article on Yahoo News or apps like Medium, Zite, Facebook, Safari, etc., and thought to yourself, “What does this word mean?” or want to look up more information about that word? Current experience forces you to switch to your preferred dictionary app or Google Translate or open another Safari window and input the word to search for the meaning. Imagine if you could just copy the word from any app and our Dictionary app could send you an instant notification to tell you a condensed definition and you could tap on the notification to deep-link to the Dictionary app for a full search of the word.

What we've achieved in dictionary app

Dictionary offers the most dynamic way to look up and learn not just what a word means, but also get relevant / visually rich information about the words, especially for people who are not native speakers. The possibilities of using this app are unlimited. We believe this is an app that everyone needs on their phone. This app also won "2015 Yahoo! Q3 Global Hack Day - Yahoo’s Choice Award".