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NAVER Online Dictionary

Project Overview

This project aimed to assess and improve the usability of Naver's online dictionary service. It was undertaken during my internship with the UX Team at Naver, South Korea's largest portal.


The primary goal was to pinpoint the limitations of the current online dictionary service and propose enhancements to enrich user experience. To achieve this, I conducted user research, including user interviews, in which I served as a moderator and recruited target users.


The existing dictionary service showed constraints in functionality and user experience. Users expressed the need for more than just a basic word storage feature; they desired versatile ways to utilize words. Consequently, several features and enhancements were suggested.


Through the project, I came to recognize the significance of incorporating genuine user feedback beyond mere user input to elevate the service.


UX Intern


User Testing Lab & Testing Facility,
Microsoft Program, etc 


Web Review Research, Expert Evaluation, Task Analysis, User Interview


2 Weeks


Usability Evaluation Results, Design Direction Suggestions


Project Goal

The goal of this project was to evaluate the usability of Naver's online dictionary service, which not only provides a Korean-English dictionary but also allows easy comparison of major dictionary results worldwide, supports various languages beyond English-Korean and English-English, and offers an online wordbook feature where users can add words they searched for review. The focus was on assessing the usability of the online wordbook feature and proposing improvements for a better online dictionary experience.


Overall Process

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Task Analysis

Task 1
Task 1 focuses on the basic workflow: (1) to find words in each dictionary, (2) to put them in the wordbook, and (3) to check whether they are saved accurately.
Key Analysis Perspectives: Observe UI elements that interfere with the workflow.
Task 2
Task 2 focuses on the alignment function, which is the main feature of the wordbook.
Key Analysis Perspectives: Identify users' pain points in the wordbook fucntions such as word sorting, editing, etc.
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User Reserach

Web Review Research
Review and analyze user reviews of wordbook from web bulletin board to understand the broad needs of NAVER Global Dictionary’s wordbook.
User Interviews
User interviews were conducted focusing on keywords obtained from expert evaluation and web review research.
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What's the Solutions?

Design Recomendation


As Is

To Be

Word Sorting

Sort by 'saved date' and 'saved count' only

Sort by memorized/unmemorized, date ascending/descending, or randomorting

My Folder

All words are in the sole folder, "wordbook"

Words are grouped in different folders 

Editing Function

Only searched words are eligible to be saved by pressing [+] button

Users can type words directly in wordbook to save

Test Function

Users are responsible for checking memorized/unmemorized words

Each folder has “Test Vocabulary” function to help memorize saved words


Inconsistent screen layout with multiple procedures to save

Consistent screen layout
A widget that can search and add immediately on a web page

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[Naver Online Dictionary & Wordbook]

*Due to confidentiality reasons and the prohibition of external disclosure, the included Naver dictionary images are
for reference purposes and differ from actual project images.


During my internship, I had the invaluable opportunity to delve into how Naver, South Korea's largest portal, conducts User Testing (UT) and experiences the UT Lab environment. As I participated in recruiting and moderating for UT sessions, I learned the processes and skills by receiving feedback from the professionals.

Beyond the direct profit motive, I found out that Naver engaged in intriguing research endeavors such as facilitating Hanja (Chinese Characters) dictionary searches for English native users unfamiliar with Chinese characters and accurately translating slang or niche language to various languages on translation platforms. While I explored these research projects beyond those included in this portfolio, I initially pondered why this company invested in this area even though it does not directly bring profit. Over time, with the emergence of fandoms consuming Korean drama or K-pop culture through platforms like Netflix and YouTube, I witnessed many users worldwide benefiting from the services developed and advanced by Naver.

Reflecting on the project, I recall the Naver online dictionary from over a decade ago, which offered limited functionality and had a simplistic interface. Yet, today, I benefit from remarkably convenient and advanced dictionary features.

This experience taught me that projects should not solely focus on current system UX improvements but also aim to realize long-term user aspirations. Such user-centered considerations and efforts ultimately benefit both companies and users, contributing to the creation of a better world.

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