Microsoft Bing Dictionary (Engkoo)

Microsoft Bing Dictionary (Engkoo)

Bing Dictionary is a next generation English-Chinese bilingual dictionary and sample sentence search engine; it is particularly useful as a writing assistant and language learning tool. It was built by Microsoft Research Asia using innovative natural language, speech, user interface, and web mining technology.                                                                                                                                                                          .

Company: Microsoft Research Asia

Date: 7.2008-11.2008 (v0-v1); 7.2009-11.2009 (v1-v2)

My role: UX Designer and Researcher

Contribution:

(Version 2.0) Phonetic Search, User Data Submission, Teaching Method Editor(TME), Bilingual Mapping, Dictation Game, MSN Portal English Channel, MSN Messenger English Tool.

(Version 1.0) Competitor Analysis, Feature Breakdown, Prototype, Visual Design, User Study, Usability Testing

Award: 

“Most Trustworthy Product of 2011” Award, China Internet Industry Annual Meeting

“2011 top apps” Award from Baidu, ranked #5 of thousands

Wall Street Journal’s 2010 Asian Innovation Award

Publication: 

INTERACT 2009(12th IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction), Uppsala, Sweden (First author)

Patent: 

US Patent for Combinable Tabs

Introduction Video

Homepage (Click image to link in)

Killer Features of UX Design

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1. One Page Design:

We designed the home page and search page all in one page. While a new search occurs, a new tab appears and the whole page won’t refresh. The old page can be looked back without doing search again.

Needs from users
Speed is the first concern of an online dictionary for users. All other dictionaries have to refresh the whole page by searching a new word. But users want get the definition immediately.

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2. Combinable Tabs:

Some words in English can be very similar in meaning, so it can sometimes be difficult to select the right one. Bing Dictionary can help you with the ‘entry comparison’ feature. Just drag the tab of one word and drop it onto the tab of the word you’d like to compare it to; When you have finished with the comparison, you can click the icon to separate them.

Needs from users
Online dictionary users are always want to look up back to the query history to compare two words without leaving the current page.

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3. Wildcard Sentence Search:

Engkoo allows users explore language by discovering new sentences using wildcard. To use it, simply input your sentence and put in a part-of-speech wildcard where you’d like Bing Dictionary to fill in.

Technology from researchers
Researchers made an algorithm that can automatically recognize “POS“ of English sentence. “POS“ is the “Part of Speech“.

Needs from users
In English writing, learners can find the word by translation, but cannot find out the “proper“ word that fit in the specific situation.

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4. Auto-Expanding Translation Search Box:

When a user inputs text that takes up more than one line, the search box will expand automatically. We combined the word search and sentence translation both in one search box. The different feature will be only triggered by the different length of search query.

Needs from users

Sometimes users need to search word, sometimes they want to translate a whole sentence. But they don’t want to select each function when they search.

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5. Phonetic Search:

When looking for English words, specifically for those words where you know the pronunciation but don’t know the spelling, you can input anything you heard to search. Bing Dictionary can then help you to find the correct word.

Technology from researchers
Researchers can translate English words into phonetic symbols and then matching the similar ones together.

Needs from users
English learners always want to query the unknown words that they just heard. But sometime they cannot spell it correctly by pronunciation.

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6. Bilingual Mapping:

When you mouse over you can see the translation aligned terms. Use it to not only learn how to construct sentences in the opposite language, but also instantly get context sensitive translations.

Technology from researchers
Researchers can pare each words in the translation sentences. Due the difference of grammar, the construction of sentences are always different.

Needs from users
In the sample sentences, users usually find unfamiliar words. But it is time consuming and distracting to query these words. They want to know the unknown words immediately.

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7. Sample Sentence Filtering:

Engkoo allows users to filter sample sentences by category(spoken, wrriten, etc.), source(from dictionary, Internet), level(easy, medium, hard). It fits people’s specific purpose of using and learning English.

Technology from researchers
Researchers made an algorithm to classify the sample sentences by category, source and level.

Needs from users
Users want to shorten the sample sentence list to get what they specifically want.

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8. Inflection Filter:

When looking for a specific inflection of one word, users can simply click on the inflection to get the sample sentences filtered.

Needs from users

In the sample sentences, users always want to find the ones with specific inflection of one word. Such as they want to find how “taken“ used in sentences rather than “take“, “takes“ or “took“.

 

 

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