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Goethe — Lernpartner

Lernpartner is an app that aims to connect German learners worldwide. It offers a communication platform in which knowledge of German can be applied and consolidated. The application offers users the opportunity to find learning partners with the same language level and to chat directly online. A game function provides additional support and suggestions for the conversation in German.


The project begun in March 2018 in Berlin with a Hackathon “startklar?!” organized by Goethe Institut.

I was invited to join the team during the development phase of the app, six months after the project idea was selected. The initial concept established the basic points on which we based our work throughout 2019.

Using Agile methodology, we implemented a continuous process of user testing, design and development. The development of the application occurred in parallel to design and UX. No idea was implemented without being tested.

After an initial proof of concept, we developed a Progressive Web App using React and Redux.

Interesting UI elements

AI Bot

During a user testing, we were examining the assumption if a Bot would help the chat interactions, so we quickly prototyped a bot to test. We did it in an afternoon and then watched the user testing live. It was fun to see our dumb Bot interacting with real humans.


At some point during our process, we started to think that adding a game would help the learning process. The brainstorming session to come up with these games ideas was one of the best brainstorming sessions I have been in my life. No silly idea was discarded. After that, we did a selection of them and tested for the winner, which ended up in the App.

The Result

Working in a small and interdisciplinary team using Agile was rewarding. Each team member had ownership of the project and was free to suggest features and brainstorm solutions (which were also tested!). The app evolved and matured during each round of user testing and many of our assumptions were proven wrong.

Team composition

Design Research & Product
Barbara Bencze

Elena Rankova

Jonathan Moore / N3xtcoder, Purcy Marte,

Judith Berge

The app was done in collaboration with Goethe-Institut.