Case study

Vocabulary Acquisition App for Language Learners

We helped an EdTech software provider build native apps that let foreign language learners acquire personalized vocabulary

Key features

  • Improve  vocabulary  memorization

    Improve  vocabulary  memorization

  • Help language learners get better grades

    Help language learners get better grades

  • Enhance the user experience with a mobile app

    Enhance the user experience with a mobile app

eLearning, EdTech
Team size:
11 engineers
2012 – present

Cassandra / Hadoop / HTML / Java / JavaScript / JSON / Lucene / Objective-C / Scala / SQLite / Swift

About the client 

Phase6 is a leading digital vocabulary trainer and EdTech software provider that delivers eLearning solutions for hundreds of thousands foreign language learners in Germany. Their card-based learning system helps people memorize new words sustainably through a sequence of repetitions. Phase6 is a pioneer in blended learning in the German market.

Users can learn exactly the vocabulary which is needed for their language classes, enriched by metadata and media. Phase6 successfully mastered the challenge of migrating from traditional desktop software to all new native mobile and web applications as well as modernizing their business model. 

Our client’s solutions are used by children, teenagers, and adults alike who prefer to use blended learning that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods. Due to their proven scientific approach, Phase6 already helped millions of users to improve their linguistic abilities by efficiently and sustainably developing their own vocabulary knowledge. Phase6 products are recommended by teachers at more than 7,000 educational institutions across Germany. Their app is unique among its competitors because it offers vocabulary collections for almost all course and school books in the German market, developed in close cooperation with Germany’s leading educational publishers as well as linguistic experts. 

Vocabulary Acquisition App for Language Learners

Phase6 came with the challenge 

Back in 2011, Phase6 solution was only available as a desktop software. There was not yet any mobile application or backend to allow users learn across multiple devices. Despite the success of their product for almost 10 years, it was about the time to strategically do the next steps to meet future business goals.

Our client wanted to meet the demands of their users to be able to learn not only on their home computer but on almost any given tablet, smartphone, or desktop computer. In order to achieve this, Phase6 needed not only new mobile applications but an all new backend. 

Phase6 looked for a reliable partner with close cultural alignment in a destination that was easy to access. They also needed fast scalability and a team of highly skilled engineers at a competitive rate. They preferred to work with a midsize company to make sure that their project would get attention from senior management when needed. Intellias offered a complete product development service model, deep expertise in platform development, a UX design team, lots of attention and available C-level management, and a location allowing frequent visits and close collaboration. 

Intellias developed the solution 

Our major goal for this project was to develop native apps for iOS and Android. We built the backend for these apps with Swift and Java respectively. Later on, we also built a web application using HTML5 and JavaScript as a replacement for Phase6 legacy desktop product.  

From the start, our team worked closely with Phase6 engineers as well as the company’s top management. Their CEO and CTO were involved in decision-making and communicated directly with our own C-level executives. The project received just as much attention as our client expected.

Intellias built a completely new architecture, allowing Phase6 to migrate from their legacy software to a new modern cloud-based platform that could meet the needs of mobile users. The most prominent achievement of this project was the ability of both teams – from Phase6 and Intellias – to work cohesively on creating a product from scratch. Based on Phase6 business requirements, Intellias provided not only expertise in consulting, development and design, but also took care of proper documentation and testing routines. 

Today, we are in a smooth process of continuous delivery, allowing Phase6 to ship new feature and improvements while operating safely and within the budget requirements. 

We achieved great results together 

During the past years, Phase6 experienced a significant increase in customer satisfaction and conversion rates among all apps. Both metrics are at an all-time high, allowing our customer a steady growth in revenues. 

Nowadays we are in a good balance of shipping new features as well as doing constant refactoring, allowing Phase6 to stay on track with the latest technology in order to avoid technical debts and further improve on performance and scalability in the future.

We are looking forward to support Phase6 in the future on their ongoing success story and are proud to be such a significant contributor to their development. 

Over the years working with Intellias, we’ve found a talented team which works together so well, and it allows us to continuously ship new features and also have a very smooth and safe operation.

Andreas Kruse, CTO at Phase6

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