Case Studies

QCLingo – a flashcard app for company jargon

by Geoff Stead

New in the job? Trying to get up to speed, fast? Experts agree that if you can’t make a good impression in your first 90 days, it’s probably too late!

Like many large businesses, Qualcomm has evolved an entire vocabulary used only by other employees, and impenetrable to new arrivals. Our team pulled together a list of the top 100 jargon terms, from across the business, and built them into our own internal Jargon Buster (called QC Lingo).

The app is now used for all new employees, and it works both as a standard glossary, as well as a card game, using intelligent algorithms to optimise the times that you see a repeat card.

QC Lingo samples


If you’d like a preview, here is a joke-version we made for April Fools Day, called Ye Olde Lingo. See how good your Ole English is! (Our internal version has all sorts of extras, like letting you switch between devices)

The algorithm is based on some well established ideas:

  1. Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve, and how planned, spaced repetition can help optimise the time it takes to remember
  2. The Leitner system, as an established algorithm to prioritise the placement, and progression of flashcards
  3. modern mobile-web page layout and javascript page libraries

Combined with our own, internal game design and UX refinements, to design the surrounding game mechanics, and ruthlessly simplify the scoring and reporting

QC Lingo algorithm

So far, feedback has been great. New employees love it, and we keep finding new use cases, and additional packs of content to share with employees. (We even built a dedicated pack for the Qualcomm Board, covering all the many technologies under development at Qualcomm!

Want to know more? Here is a video of Khoa explaining it

Would this idea work for you?  What content would you put into it?


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