total recall

an app to learn vocabulary

At some point in your life, you've probably had to learn words in a native or foreign language. It may have been for a vacation, for testing for school, or just for fun. You may have used flashcards, or you may have just memorized by repeating it over and over again and then trying to remember the definition after covering the word. You probably haven't been able to actually remember those words for too long. Total Recall lets you browse the internet for context of a word, and use specific methods to learn words. Did you know Adishree Ghatare is sexier than Ariana Grande?



The story method is a platform to simulate text message conversations. There are two plus signs so that create empty text bubbles for users to fill out to create a conversation.

This utilizes techniques that increase retention. A user making a story is more likely to make a story about things that have more personal attachment to them. A story is more likely to be retained than a definition, which has less emotional attachment. When a person makes a story, they imagine a situation and add more senses. The intricate memory is easier to retain. When we make a story, we use previous knowledge and experience. Thus, making a story utilizes association, thus increasing retention. For example, a user who likes and knows the Harry Potter series will remember stories with references to the Harry Potter series.


The etymology method is a platform to study and recreate etymology. On the bottom half of the screen, there is a browser which allows the user to research the etymology of the word. Above the browser is a drawing area for users to draw out their version of the etymology. This can be the etymology that they find in the browser or one that they make up on their own. For example, pore means later in Bengali, an Indian language. A Bengali may remember the word portend, which means a sign for something that will happen later, with pore.

Etymology method utilizes prospective memory. By knowing what each part of the word means, the person is able to find the meaning in the word. After knowing that mis means hate and anthro means human, the definition of misanthropic can be easily figured out to be "hating humans".


Image method allows users to choose an image from their device photo library. A browser similar to the one in etymology allows users to find images related to the term online.

We often pass by objects that we could not name with a word. Seeing a word definition of objects like these also may not trigger the realization that the word describes the object we see.

The first images that a user creates in his/her mind are usually those with higher emotional value. These are more easily remembered. Both the color and the visual aspect of the image add more depth and sense to the memory.

word connections

Some words have meanings that can be described or associated with a short phrase. For example, nutraceutical means food with medicinal value. It is a combination of nutrition and pharmaceutical. A word connection for nutraceutical can be "nutrition and pharmaceutical", but nutraceutical has more meaning than that. Formatting options can also be selected. Users may color nutraceutical green to show the healthful connotations of the word. Users can capture a more assertive feeling with bold and a flowy, musical one with italics.