2012  |  9 Weeks  |  Siri Johansson, Shivanjali Toma


With globalization people are moving to new countries more frequently than ever. Settling down with families and bringing up children in new societies comes with its share of challenges. Integrating in the new society while maintaining your native culture can be quite a daunting task with serious consequences on inter-personal relationships and family dynamics. 

LANGO is a service that addresses the issues faced by multilingual families living in Sweden and helps them to integrate in the Swedish society better by motivating them to learn the culture and Swedish through participation in the society itself, at the same time not losing touch with their own native culture. LANGO was selected to represent Umeå Institute of Design at the prestigious Microsoft Design Expo'12 in Redmond where it was awarded 'the Best Visual Design' Award


A Quick Look at the Service

Quick look at the service

Solution & Key Touchpoints


LANGO Wristband: Automatically picks up new words & phrases spoken by the person its calibrated to, making speaking the language most essential to the service.


Location Based Prompts: Audio-visual messages to instigate people to speak to native language speakers around them at different instances.


Skype Plug-in places a virtual information layer to bridge the language barrier and prompt discussions between grandparents and the kid.


LANGO Progress and LANGO-scape visualize your language progress and lets you compare the learnings over time and different location. Comparing your learning to that of family members gives you motivation, both to learn more yourself and to teach others.






The 12 week project started with extensive ethnographic studies into the topic of language learning through participation. We conducted a series of structured and non structured interviews with both refugee and immigrant families to understand the language dynamics in both types of multi-lingual family clusters. Inspite of their obvious differences we decided to focus on the common problems we saw in these types of non-Swedish families.


Research Analysis


Scope of Design




User & Stakeholder Workshop


Bottom triangle of speech bubble is used as a metaphor for what is required to start speaking in a new language. The whole interface is based on this triangular grid which is filled with language usage.


High res. Blueprint


Lango being showcased at Microsoft Design Expo 2012


Presenting Lango at Microsoft Research Summit 2012