On Saturday May 4, 2019, we had the first public showcase of the upcoming conversational app on Yoruba and Igbo. This though was to a Yoruba-focused audience given the support of Mr Kolade Ogunbayode, a renowned Yoruba-language tutor in the UK. Our relationship with Mr. Kola has come a long way so much that our Yoruba101 apps have been the recommended complementary tools for his students who range from children to adult learners of Yoruba language. Our current work has been in progress for some months now though much of it has been restricted to the core team so this was a chance to break from that isolation and get useful feedback from its prospective users.
We started out by sharing our motivation for the new app (the need to go beyond the basics already covered by Yoruba101) and then played all 13 topics for the audience. Next, the audience shared their feedback as follows:
- The inclusion of a glossary of words
- With respect to the voiceover, someone mentioned the need for more options.
- Given the formal approach to our lessons, another mentioned she would love the option of an alternative style that directly corresponds to everyday pronunciations. A case in point is, “Kini oruko re?” versus “Kiloruko re?” The former is our preferred approach given it’s the accurate breakdown of the latter (what you’ll often here in everyday conversations).
- We got positive feedback on the 2 central characters though there was a brilliant suggestion for us to have users design their own avatar.
- We were encouraged to continue including songs in our apps. One member mentioned how the Yoruba101Ikini songs help reinforce his learning.
- There was positive feedback regarding the pace of the voiceover. For beginners, we were told its pace was much better.
- One of the experienced member of the audience, a Yoruba tutor herself mentioned the need to make a clear distinction between urban (slang) Yoruba and the traditional terms for certain subjects.
- We were also encouraged to include push notifications as a way of reminding and encouraging users on their learning path.
There was a lot more shared and learned from over 3 hours of engagement. As a team, we’ll be incorporating as many of these feedback into our current development pipeline.
In all, it was an exciting experience given many of these brilliant feedback that can only come from such an event. We’re back to wrapping things up for our launch in a few months. We also look forward to more planned engagements with work already in progress for the next one.