A digital voice journal that automatically transcribes entries into text for you

Problem Background  

Journaling is defined as “entering or recording daily thoughts, experiences, etc.” and according to a study about half of us have written in a journal at some point in our lives, and somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1 in 6 people are active journal writers right now. 

Journaling has many benefits which includes evoking mindfulness and helping writers remain present while keeping perspective. It also presents an opportunity for emotional catharsis and helps the brain regulate emotions by allowing the brain to unload and stay unclogged.

Despite all these benefits, many people don’t partake in journaling at all or when they do journal, they have a difficult time making it a habit and continuing every day. A study found that after the first two weeks, the amount of people who continued to journal every day gradually decreased. There are many reasons people avoid journaling including the fact that it’s time-consuming and there isn’t instant gratification. Journaling is a process that takes time and it allows for a cultivation of self-identity and self-confidence in the long term.

While there are many journaling apps out in the market, there isn’t an effective solution that provides a simple platform for jotting down unadulterated thoughts with no formality. There is a need for a solution to lower the barrier of entering the world of “journaling” for busy people

Research and Validation

AudioScribe initially began with an idea to create a voice-memo application that could help people with jotting down their somewhat random but important thoughts throughout the day. With more research on the importance of unloading your thoughts from your brain into physical space, there was a realization that we weren’t dealing with note taking habits but rather journaling.

With a renewed perspective on the problem at hand, it was evident that journaling isn’t the easiest habit for people to achieve. The two major obstacles that held them back were time commitment and lack of instant gratification. While we considered the instant gratification aspect to be an important issue to tackle, after a discussion with the team and based on our research, it was deemed necessary to prioritize and focus on creating an app that will reduce the time required to write a journal for our MVP.


For testing we had (3) users test creating a journal and saving journals. This was a moderated test using zoom, google meets, and the live prototype. Overall all users were able to successfully complete the task provided to them. Although one user had trouble activating their mic during the testing. Therefore the transcription did not work. They were using a mac but switched over to a PC and they were able to complete the task.


Given the current process for starting the transcription process all (3) users were all to successfully start given limited directions.

Users liked the idea of being able to edit their transcription.

The pop-up modal scared one user because the cancel button made it seem like they were going to cancel their save.

Lofi & Hifi Mockups

Lofi: Desktop

Hifi: Desktop

Lofi: Login

Hifi: Login

Lofi: Create Journal

Hifi: Create Journal

Lofi: My Journals

Hifi: My Journals

Iterative Design Learnings 

First initial designs we had Onboarding (Login/ Signup), Connecting applications (google calendar), homepage, creating journal, voice dictation, search, and profile management.

After meeting with the product team and development we wanted to slim down our core features due to time constraints in making sure we are able to test features that got developed. 

As a result we focused mainly on developing creating journals, voice dictation, and 0saving journals. 


Our preliminary research let us know which features we needed to address by building our product. The most important hurdle that potential users faced was having the ability to journal without taking too much of their time at their disposal. 

Solution Explanation

Based on our user pain points, our team decided to prioritize on creating a solution that will allow users to easily record a journal with their voice and have it transcribed automatically. 

The initial aim was to develop a mobile app which would have made it even easier for people to launch on their phones and start recording their thoughts out loud. Our first major pivot came after discussing with the development team and realizing that a web application would increase our chances of producing a successful MVP by the end of 8 weeks. 

After the pivot, we delved into creating a web application that would still focus on creating a digital journal experience that was as easy as signing in and simply pressing a record button and speaking out their thoughts. The two main features we set out to build were:

  1. Auto-transcription: This allowed users to record their journals and have them transcribed in real-time and let them edit the journals afterwards.
  2. Saved journals: Users’ journal entries will be saved under their own account and they will be able to access all their journals from the past.

There are more features on our list to make the user experience better such as allowing real-time editing as they record, daily streaks, journal prompts and many more that we hope to be able to add in the future with more time.

Future Steps 

Although we enjoyed creating AudioScribe from scratch, we will not be continuing with this project after the end of our Co.Lab experience. We all learned tremendously from this experience and our team will stay in touch as everyone focuses on their own path whether it be searching for jobs, personal projects or even taking some time off for ourselves!


Product Manager Learnings:

James Shin

Co.Lab provided such a unique experience in that it brought 4 strangers from diverse backgrounds with one common goal of learning and creating a product from scratch. 

As a product manager, first and foremost, I learned the importance of why having a product manager is so crucial to any projects. There were countless moments where I had learning moments such as prioritizing features and compromising when needed to ensure that the project was on track and there were no distractions. It helped me tremendously in being present and listening in meetings to make sure everyone’s voices were heard and the group stayed motivated.

Designer Learnings:

Kirby Hsu

Amazing experience working with such talented individuals. Working with Product we were able to iterate on our ideas. And flesh out what was possible to develop in our short time span together. I learned a lot more from the development point of view. Fun fact creating responsive web designs in mobile dimensions first is usually best practice because when expanding to a large desktop view it's easier for development than if it were switched.

Developer Learnings:

Royal Bai

Learned a great deal and glad to have been paired with my teammates for this project. Communication is obviously quite key here but seeing how James kept us accountable and being the glue of the group definitely got me to understand the importance of participating even if my role doesn’t seem important at the time or topic of discussion. Working with the designer, Kirby, was great to learn from as well as challenge me to figure out if I could style the requested features and through trial and error there was a lot of success. Working with my fellow dev whom was overseas and with many responsibilities made it evident that I should have been more engaging to make up for tough scheduling and barriers but all in all a great learning experience.

Developers Learnings:

Joseph Kwentsir


The past seven weeks as part of the colab program have been an enriching learning experience for me as a backend developer. I encountered numerous challenges that pushed the limits of my knowledge and experience, but I learned the importance of seeking help and engaging with the wider developer community.

Additionally, I realized the significance of timely communication with my team, especially when I get absorbed in finding solutions to technical obstacles.

Overall, I am grateful for the guidance and support from my team members and mentor, who have greatly contributed to making this project a success.

Full Team Learning

As a team, we learned that we have to stay flexible and not be set on one idea or feature while developing a product. We came up with many great ideas for the product such as it being a mobile app, connecting it to google calendar and having live edit functionality, but in the end, we had to come together as a team and discuss what was feasible and not, in order to execute and build a MVP in 8 weeks. It also taught us that we had to really listen and compromise with each other to function as a unit.