How a new app makes learning to drive easier

My Theory Test by James May

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The Client

About My Theory Test by James May

In the UK, over one million of us every year learn to drive - and while we might be more worried about our parallel parking, passing the driving theory test itself is no easy feat. In fact, statistics show that around 47.7% of us fail the theory test first time.

Enter Splink Industries. Splink recognised that despite the potential and soaring popularity of app-based learning, many opportunities were being lost to help people learn effectively and intuitively through the smartphones in their pockets. With that in mind, Splink set out on a mission to improve mobile learning experiences for everyone - starting with driving theory tests.

As a brand new company with a great idea, the team at Splink Industries turned to AND Digital to provide the expert technical and product expertise they would need to turn an exciting concept into a fully-fledged app.

The challenge

Supporting learner drivers

Supporting learner drivers

Although the Splink team had created a vision and outline plan for what they wanted to achieve, it was necessary to really validate the concept with learner drivers.

An initial research and discovery phase saw the team analyse competitor app offerings and develop a roadmap for a first release. An initial set of five core user outcomes were identified, and a range of UX practices were used to validate these directly with learner drivers:

  • Testable wireframes and low-fi prototype allowed the team to validate concepts with learner drivers as early as possible.
  • Guerilla testing outside theory test centres helped to capture in-time and real-world user insights.
  • Research into learning methodologies and approaches informed the UX approach and shaped the creation of a smart learning algorithm.

driving test
The solution

Smarter learning support

Algorithmic assessment for personalised learning

On average, learner drivers spend just two weeks revising for their theory tests - but in that time, have some 700 questions to revise for. To make the process of revision faster and more effective, AND Digital’s development team built a smart, custom algorithm to support a user’s learning in just three weeks.

The algorithm assesses a user’s past performance and question difficulty. This means each time they begin a new quiz session, the algorithm creates a question set that mixes both questions the user needs to revisit, with new ones. This is a learning technique known as ‘spaced repetition’, a highly proven method for retaining information in our long-term memory.

The Process

Lean Design

With no brand in place at the start of the project, launching the app to market faced a potential bottleneck as developers were waiting for final branding and designs to be developed.

To mitigate this without losing momentum, branding and UI designs were kept minimal throughout development. This allowed build work and user testing to progress unhindered. Figma, a design collaboration tool, allowed the team to collaborate on and then iterate designs in real-time.

When the design work was finalised, the team was then able to quickly roll it out across the app’s UI. To better enable future development, AND Digital built a design system with all necessary patterns and components to make shipping future releases faster and more efficient.

"Best theory app out there. I have used nearly every theory app I could find but this is by far the best app. It breaks things down and makes things into manageable chunks."

- User review on App Store

Key Outcomes

An app that makes an impact on learner drivers - It was featured as App of the Week in the App Store in its second week of launch - and has been featured multiple times since. As a result of its initial success, the app has been shortlisted in two categories at the 2020 Effective Mobile Marketing Awards.

  • Reviews 4.9 stars out of 5 on the App Store
  • Best app 4th best app in the Education category
  • Reviews 2 weeks after launch it was app of the week
  • Awards 2 Mobile marketing awards nominations in 2020

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