(Sep - Oct 2020)
The entire case study is at the bottom of the page.
How can we help readers find the book they like and keep on reading?
Many adults find it difficult to pick up a new hobby, and among all the hobbies, reading is one of the hardest ones. First, it's hard for a busy person to make time to read after a long day of work; second, it's not a group activity, so it's easier to give up. How can we help new readers find the book they like and keep on reading?
To discover audiences' reading habits, I created a list of questions and conducted user interviews, and here are some of the key anecdotes from the interviews:
Unlike bookworms, new readers can easily get lost looking for books that fit their tastes.
If people can find readers that share the same taste, reading can be more fun, and readers are less likely to quit.
Users prefer book recommendations from people they trust. Especially when they are new to reading, they're more likely to take a recommendation from a trustworthy friend rather than other sources.
After interviewing potential users, I formulated a persona who helped further empathize with our audience and better understand their needs, concerns, and motivations.
Also based on interviewees' past experiences, I created the journey map. This map shows that many people struggled in finding the right book for themselves; that's also the reason why many people quit reading.
After understanding users' pain points and identifying the potential opportunities, I started brainstorming and sketched different ideas to test with users. Before reaching the final decision, I tested with 3 users and made 2 major changes. Below is a snapshot of the design iteration.
Round 1 Design Iteration
What I did:
I designed a 30 mins free reading feature to help users read regularly. Also, I created a book socialization feature where users can discover books they like by following people with similar book tastes.
What I learned:
After testing with my friend, I realized that my app looks more like an app that helps beginners form a reading habit instead of making personalized book recommendations and book socialization.
Actions I took:
I need to separate the features for beginners and bookworms to make it less confusing for both groups.
Round 2 Design Iteration
I decided to separate the interface for beginners and bookworms. I designed one interface for beginners and one interface for bookworms to meet their different needs.
I also made an onboarding to introduce the concept and instruction of using this app.
After finishing the second iteration, I showed it to my interviewees and wanted to see if the purpose of this app is understandable to them.
I think including everything in one app makes everything less focused, and I really don't think you need to include that much in one app.
I see many apps helping people develop habits, but socializing through books is really unique. Why not focus on that?
What I learned:
I wanted to satisfy both beginners and bookworms, however, as a result, my focus was weakened, and the unique point of my app was not clear.
I decided to focus on book socialization and treat habit development as a minor feature.
As a part of the design iteration, I also did UI critique with my friend to see if my visual design looks confusing to her. Below is a snapshot of my UI design critique.