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Listen without Listening
Podcast application for the hearing impaired

Research | UX UI | Prototyping

The Problem

Over the years, the field of podcasts has gained a lot of momentum, especially since the beginning of the covid epidemic. They have become very popular, but are not deaf-friendly.

Over 5% of the world's population has disabling hearing loss.
The deaf community in Israel numbers around 800,000 people, who cannot enjoy the wide variety of content offered in a podcast.
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The Solution

The main goal is to create an accessible path for this large community with the possibility to enjoy new content like everyone else and to feel a part.


I chose to incorporate a transcription feature, which translates everything discussed in the podcast with the possibility to follow the text in a convenient and friendly way.

User Research 

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Every design starts with research. 

As a basis for the research, I published a questionnaire that was answered by 108 deaf people. 
I analyzed the results and found that the deaf community is a
huge potential audience that is being shut out from participating in a growing entertainment field.
Will be happy to use podcast app daily.
Never heard about Podcast.
Tried at past to download podcast apps.
Feel they have been forgotten.
Most users stated that they would be happy to use this app on a daily basis.
A small percentage of users are not even familiar with the podcast world at all.

After having conversations with my respondents via WhatsApp, I was able to discover that the podcast transcriptions should use simple language whenever possible and avoid unnecessary slang which can increase the user's cognitive load.

I decided not to include sign language because it lacks the basic words "and/or/the/is/of" because these concepts are expressed through facial expressions and pointing. Additionally, slang that's used in podcasts can be hard to understand by sign language.
Based on interviews and research, I created two personas
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Dana Karo
Dana is deaf from birth and lives in Ramat Gan. She works as a teacher of sign language in a deaf school. She enjoys meeting new people.
"It is frustrating that there is no podcast app accessible for deaf people to stay updated like everyone else."
-To access and enjoy a wide range of podcasts.

-Be updated on hot topics.

-Be a part of podcast conversations with her friends.
​Pain points:
-It is hard to access podcasts as there are limited apps with features to accommodate hearing-impaired individuals.

-Don't feel a part of the podcast community.
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Nadav Levin

Nadav is a deaf student living in Tel Aviv. He writes sports articles in the university magazine and loves swimming in his spare time.
​"As a deaf person, I get sad when I think of podcasts because I cannot listen to them and there is generally no captioning support of any kind."
-To access sports podcasts to be in the know of happenings in the soccer and sports industry.

-Increase the possibility of learning new things.
Pain points:
-He hardly finds access to sports updates for the university magazine.

-Making documentation of news and information difficult for him.

Competitive Research

I conducted further research by examining the apps I use to listen to podcasts,
with the aim of determining their accessibility for deaf users.
As of the date of this publication, the available updates for these apps did not offer any substantial solutions for easy accessibility for deaf individuals.
This helped me understand more possible solutions that could be offered.

There is no application on the market that offers the transcription feature.
Apple podcasts
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Google podcasts
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Spotify podcasts
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The Design




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Welcome to Pod-F
During the onboarding, the user selects their preferred method of using the app (live transcriptions, audio, both) and favorite topics. This accommodates deaf users, those with light hearing difficulties, or hearing individuals who wish to enjoy the app.
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After the onboarding, the user has two options: discover new and trending content, or enjoy content based on their chosen preferences.
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The selected podcast includes a brief summary, and then the user can easily continue to live transcriptions.
The podcast is automatically muted in order not to disturb the people around.
For more podcasts of the creator, the user presses his name.
The live transcriptions are user-friendly, with text marked in real-time indicating the speaker and spoken words highlighted in blue for added clarity.
Each creator has a dedicated page showcasing all their podcasts, with options to follow and share with others :)
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What did I learn

By working on this project, I developed greater empathy and understanding toward individuals with disabilities. As society advances, it's crucial to remember that everyone has different abilities and challenges. This is why accessibility options should be made available to everyone who needs them.
I genuinely hope that my efforts improve this population's quality of life. 
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