Connect: Your Video Call Translator

This project is very special to me, and I’m happy with how much this concept has evolved in its purpose. Connect started out as a way to bridge language barriers in technology-based relationships by having immediate language translations in closed-captions on video chats.

My dad’s side of the family only speaks Arabic and still live in Syria. Video chat is the closest we get to seeing each other. I could never understand them, yet always wished to be closer to them. This occurs often in immigrant families that speak multiple languages, it almost seems normal to never talk to or get to know your extended family.

Also, our pandemic-zoomified world has shed light on accessibility issues (focus and hearing), which helped me finalize Connect's purpose: Connect aims to help with communication in video-chatting between different languages and support those that have hearing + focus difficulties by providing more accessibility options in video chats.

Amal Alyousfi
December 2020
METHOds & Tools
Figma, Secondary Research, Prototyping
UX & UI Design, Prototyping, Human-centered design, Product Design, Accessibility


This was a personal project, I had independently thought of this concept and conducted research, initiated interviews, and crafted the prototype.


How might we create a better and more inclusive video calling experience for individuals with language barriers and hearing + focus difficulties?


Solution: A closed caption translator and transcription tab in the chat section that is continuously updated throughout the call with what is being said by everyone.
Purpose: Aid individuals who may not speak the same language, have hearing disabilities, or focus issues by providing translated closed captions to their respective language and having a running script of everything that has been said.
Language barriers can be broken down and individuals can catch themselves up in a meeting easily.

*This is a mid to hi-fi prototype, there are other features (background audio, customizing screen, etc.) that I’d like to explore in future iterations.

Enabling transcript and switching to Arabic translation:

Transcription of chat with option to save to review later:


Technology has allowed distant relationships to come closer together- yet, it’s still difficult to fully connect with loved ones, especially from different language backgrounds.

Additionally, due to the pandemic, our world has relied heavily on communicating virtually. It’s not easy to only communicate through video chat, especially for those who may have difficulties with hearing and focus.

1. Different languages and far distances deter us from gaining meaningful connections with others.
2. We’ve adjusted to a “zoomified” world, yet accessibility is still a work in progress.

need & significance

👥 Connection: Create stronger relationships between individuals despite the differences of language and location.

📲 Fluidity: Provide more resources that help create a fluid conversation (closed captions, translations, additional settings)

📝 Ease and accessibility: A need for transcripts that can be referred back to during call to mitigate any confusion or missed communication.

Research Goals

Throughout my research, I was interested in learning more about the following:

👍🏼 Better or worse? :
How do individuals feel about translator options? Is it useful to have text on screen or does it create further difficulties?

Are conversations in video calls difficult to keep up with because of laggy connection, an individual’s focus levels, or simply not being able to hear well during calls?

👨‍👩‍👦‍👦Family Dynamic
How close do you feel to your family members? Does the language barrier affect their relationships?

✈️ Experience with distanced family:
How do individual’s feel when asking for accurate translation from family members? Does video chatting enhance their relationship with family?

Research Findings & Key Insights:

interviews insights

secondary research insights

Inaccurate + inconvenient captions:
“Live-captioning on video calls is not just inaccurate in such cases; it can also be very difficult to navigate in the conversation.” (“Is Video Conferencing Software Inclusive Enough?”, DiversityQ )

There’s a lot of missed details in conversation:
Detailed notes of strategic sessions would help... more people will be on the same page and will not have missed details.”(“Is Video Conferencing Software Inclusive Enough?”, DiversityQ)

Non-native speakers on video calls:
• Easily misinterpret words but rereading what is said helps.
• Asking for repetition can make them feel ashamed for slowing conversation too much.
• Calls go too fast for them to type everything in time.

It’s hard to focus on zoom calls causing “zoom fatigue”:
Meetings with more than one person are difficult because there are more faces, making it harder to process.


lo-fi sketches

I had sketched out a few screens of how I wanted things to look and where they would come up onto the screens. I initially wanted to have a “Translate” button, but realized that would be a bit confusing, so I decided to put the translate settings into the “Closed Caption” button instead.

mid-fi prototype

I was testing out different background colors, where the main buttons and chat could be, and how the overall “look” should be. I had also thought of putting a “background audio” button so users can adjust the background settings of others (since it can be really distracting and cause people to lose focus or not hear the person well).


This project allowed me to explore the human-centered design process more thoroughly. I really enjoyed the research aspect because there’s really so much to learn and take note of out there (especially from the internet!). I had made some changes after reviewing it recently and realized how much more I could expand this project.

With more time, I’d like to do more research and interviews to uncover more general needs, and accessibility/inclusivity needs. I’d also like to explore supplemental features for the overall solution, I wanted to keep this solution simple because it’s effective, addresses the problem, and tackles the needs of my personas. Additional features would just make the process more customizable and perhaps easier for some. I really enjoyed this idea and wish it could come to fruition because it’s definitely something I would use with my family back in the Middle East- maybe one day!