Lexdex – Web-based and mobile flash cards


The project was founded by Edward Kim who believed in a different way of studying and therefore had this great idea of creating interactive flashcards for students who could browse on the web and on their mobile phone to study at anytime. Backed by a professional team of strong experts on the web and modern technologies, the Lexdex project offers the best online tools to allow students to have quick and convenient access to their flashcards. 



Client Needs

For the most part, the Lexdex project relies on a strategy based on the internet and its advanced e-learning functionalities. Leaving out the tremendous challenge of technological choices to build a new mobile and web application on the market, the project would still require the combination of many different skills and specialists to create a strong visual identity or solve issues raised by design accessibility and interfaces. Not to mention all the work to be carried to promote the brand through online marketing campaigns or social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc…), and even: focus groups, training sessions, online tutorials, customer support, etc…
With powerful ideas and profound insight in the Publishing industry and the e-learning market, Edward Kim was looking for a solid technological partner that could not only understand how to use the internet to deliver outstanding results, but also grasp his ideas and concepts to make Lexdex happen.



Collaboration with Davyin

Such an ambitious project required the collaboration of an extensive team of people with different skills and backgrounds, mostly in New York, United States of America (USA) and Shanghai, China (PRC). Edward Kim, the executive director, planned, managed and coordinated from Shanghai the evolution of the website between the different teams. Working closely with Davyin Internet Solutions, Lexdex’s executive director was able to setup a highly efficient data input team able to input several textbooks in a week. By keeping daily contact with Davyin Internet Solutions’ project managers, developers and designers, the Lexdex teams had immediate response on issues and therefore could assess clear timelines for product development as well as allocation of resources. From design drafts of the website and its mobile phone program interfaces to the conception of the textbook database architecture, Davyin Internet Solutions programmed and built Lexdex mobile phone and online applications.



Our approach & Solution

Putting together such a vast and complete online service required careful planning on months, with a variable schedule and division in numerous milestones. From a technical perspective, we first started by building the database architecture that would allow automated and manual input of every textbook’s flashcards and mobile phone specifications. The flash cards and study guides could then be retrieved by online users on a clear and convenient dashboard, after selecting their textbooks. Based on intensive user usability testing to analyze patterns and behaviors on the MyDex dashboard for flash cards, chapters or textbook selection, we were able to adapt page designs, action buttons, and navigation schemes, to ensure interfaces were meaningful, visually appealing and fully functional. Furthermore, by implementing on-the-fly generation of JAVA J2ME mobile phone packages we were able to integrate flash card content from the main database to mobile phone devices. In addition to viral marketing through social networks and newsletters to promote the Lexdex brand image, we strongly emphasized training by providing online tutorials, faqs, and support.



Key features

  • 1- A strong textbook database architecture:
    As in most web applications, the structure of the database is a crucial factor for the efficiency and growth of the website. Lexdex features a vast amount of textbooks from which data was extracted to be stored in a robust and scalable structure. Each textbook, chapter and flashcard is represented by a set of relations and properties including title, phonetic, translations, pictures for mobile phones or even audio files for certain textbooks. Since Lexdex offers not less than 10 different languages, available in many textbooks, data is completely encoded in UTF-8 to support any possible character such as Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc… Thanks to a comprehensive content management system, accessible from the back-end, flashcards can be modified, manually added or automatically input through CSV preformatted files. Combining a clear and flexible data structure with a Rich Internet Application (RIA) to manage flashcards from the back-end, the Lexdex team is able to not only be more reactive and reduce its turn-around-time on quick changes, but also leverage batch automated input with CSV files to plan on a sustainable data collection strategy.
  • 2 – The Lexdex textbook library:
    By browsing a user friendly online textbook library, visitors are able to choose from a large choice of textbooks, off-the-shelf by subjects, or simply search for particular textbooks by keywords, author or ISBN to start studying immediately. Textbooks can be selected and added to user dashboard to have direct access to all the flashcards in the chapters of any textbook, in just a few clicks. The library also serves as a landing page to provide updates on newly added textbooks and a survey to request new ones. Textbook requests and the ones picked by users can be managed from the account section in which subscriptions to textbooks can be easily removed or extended.
  • 3 – Full content management features:
    Built on top of the leading Open Source content management system, Drupal, the website is fully customizable from the back-end to allow webmasters to add new content pages, manage comments or user profiles and change menus. In addition to a great visual identity, Drupal’s template theme was highly customized with XHTML/CSS to be standard-compliant, cross-browser compatible and fast to load to be quickly accessible from any country. By complying with Drupal development standards and framework, we programmed modules and configured the application to produce a highly efficient and extensible multimedia e-learning platform.
  • 4 – Lexdex Mobile Flashcards and Lexdex Mobile Multiple Choice:
    Learning on mobile phones is made possible with Lexdex mobile phone programs. Supported on hundreds of phones, these applications enable studying sets of flashcards with an intuitive interface, making learning a new language a breeze. What’s more to this fun mobile design and interface is the ability to select any flashcard online and download the program onto the phone through Bluetooth, WAP or any other method (IR, etc…) allowing file transfer onto the phone. The Lexdex Flashcards programs are downloaded on the user dashboard from which JAVA J2ME packages are generated on-the-fly on the server and sent directly to user’s phone or computer. Making use of extensive caching, packages are almost completely generated before being requested which considerably reduces response time. For an optimal configuration on phones, every supported and tested model can be chosen in the mobile phone catalog offering a large number of brands (Motorola, Nokia, HTC, Sony Ericson, etc…) and models (BlackBerry, etc…). After setting custom characteristics for their phone in preferences, users are able to generate Lexdex Mobile programs that match exactly their phone’s specifications with more or less memory capacity, different screen sizes, or even different key settings for each phone. Lexdex Multiple Choice [TM] challenges users to learn on their mobile phones with fun quizzes customized from their flashcards chosen online. It suits perfectly to studying for exams with multiple choices questionnaires and provides a scoreboard with a re-quizz on wrong answers to make sure you remember the next time.
  • 5 – Lexdex interactive flashcards dashboard: MyDex [TM]
    The core of the interactions between users and the Lexdex flashcards application stack takes place on the MyDex user dashboard. Through this interface, users are able to create and save groups or decks of flashcards, called “Dex” that can be retrieved anytime, on the website. User Experience is enhanced through a rich application interface (RIA), built with the Dojo ToolKit Library that provides great support for widgets and AJAX to handle requested flashcards. Extensive user testing was carried to design simple steps to enable users to build their “Dex” in a few seconds and start browsing flashcards online. Browsing Lexdex online flashcards is possible in different modes with various actions to challenge user’s memory such as shuffling cards and chapters. MyDex[TM] is designed as a framework to be interfaced with other applications such as mobile device software and currently allows users to select Dex[TM] of cards to study with Lexdex Mobile Flashcards[TM] and Lexdex Mobile Multiple Choice[TM]. The user preferences section provides a comprehensive list of options allowing configuration of practical applications such as the Lexdex Study Guides[TM] and mobile phone settings. One of the cool features of the MyDex[TM] dashboard is the capacity meter that shows the amount of space required on the mobile phone as users add or remove flashcards.
  • 6 - Tutorials and training
    A very wide range of online technologies were deployed to ensure users would be able to fully understand how to save time and use LexDex to create their flashcards. The Mobile Tour[TM] provides a quick and full overview of the functions available on Lexdex Mobile Flashcards[TM] and Lexdex Mobile Multiple Choice[TM]. It also points visitors to selecting their mobile phone and configuring correctly their My Dex[TM] dashboard. In addition to a very user friendly website with vocabulary carefully chosen, to keep visitors on the right track, answers to simple questions are collected and posted in the website’s faq to sum up Lexdex’s answers to common inquiries. From screen casts and flash tutorials showing creation of Dex[TM] and online flashcards, to mobile phone packages creation and download, everything is explained in simple words. You could perhaps spend 5 minutes to discover this brilliant online service and learn how it could work on your mobile as well.



Result: a full media e-learning platform

Lexdex is a great example of what modern online technologies can achieve to perfect computer assisted education and make studying easier.
By putting at the disposal of every student a full media e-learning platform that provides content integration with mobile phones, Lexdex opens new perspectives of evolution on the highly competitive e-learning market. Combining cutting-edge Web 2.0 Rich Internet Applications (RIA) and AJAX, with mobile phone content integration through JAVA J2ME programs, Lexdex surely offers to its users to study with the most flexible functionalities available on the web.


Above all, Davyin Internet Solutions is particularly grateful to the whole Lexdex team for its professionalism, hard work and for having given us the chance to take part to such a great and challenging project. Not only have we learnt from their experience in the publishing and e-learning industry, we have also greatly enjoyed our interactions with this colorful team involving people with very different skills and backgrounds.


LexDex launched its first public release in April of 2008 and moved on to Beta testing in September 2008. It started as a simple idea that has quickly picked up momentum, acquiring new books and subjects for the library as it continues to grow in popularity.




Edward Kim, Director and Founder:

Davyin Internet Solutions truly stands as an outstanding technological partner, not only able to build and develop advanced internet applications, but also capable of taking on large amounts of additional workload to be able to meet project milestones. Their deep understanding in engineering and a large spectrum of online technologies, allowed us to develop great mobile applications interoperable with the Lexdex website. By working closely with Davyin Internet Solutions we were able to learn from their precious insight in website on-page optimization and understand the importance of the balance between esthetics, accessibility and content to bring a unique user experience to our visitors.

1 – Design and accessibility: Keep things simple, flexible and efficient
2 – Deep knowledge of online technologies and engineering allowed us to develop the Mobile applications interfaced with the web
3 – Put on large amount of additional workloads to be able to deliver on-time


David Pauker, Director of Strategic Development and Founder:

The comprehensive administration back-end built by Davyin Internet Solutions allows us to have full control over our database of flashcards to carry further data collection and keep growing our database with new textbooks. Their constant support and impressive communication skills allowed us to keep track of the project at all times to be able to assess development priority levels for new features or design revisions. With a great commitment for web standards, I believe Davyin Internet Solutions is able to deliver solutions up to the most recognized international standards in the web development outsourcing industry.

1 – Mobile phone testing
2 – Marketing, statistics, content management
3 – Communication with project managers made easy, very good division of tasks
4 – Project planning
5 – respect of development standards up to international standards