6 weeks
(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.


Journey Map

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.


Design Iteration

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

Design Changes:

  • 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. 

Final Design

Design Changes:

  • I decided to focus on book socialization and treat habit development as a minor feature.

Artboard 1@4x.png



UI Iteration

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.


Final Design




All-time favorite 10

"All-time favorite 10" is a booklist that users can put their favorite 10 books in. After completing this booklist, BookBit will suggest other people that share the same reading tastes to them. Users can follow or check out each others' reading logs to find out books that might interest them.

After Reading Survey

After users finish reading a book, BookBit will ask them specific reasons about how they like it. This feature aims to increase the accuracy of the recommendation.


Whisper is a feature that allows users to ask questions or share thoughts with their friends. This feature is only open to people who have already finished the book or are currently reading it. Users can underline sentences and @ a friend to ask for their thoughts or leave a note for them when they reach that particular part.


The user who receives this whisper can reply directly to it. BookBit will send a notification to both of the users to let them know when they receive a new reply.

This feature aims to stimulate the joy of talking about books. By doing so, users will remain highly motivated to finish this book.

Reading Marathon

Reading Marathon is a feature that encourages users to vocalize their reading goals and commit to them. Users can start a reading marathon by putting 3 books onto the list and setting up a deadline that they want to finish.


Reading Marathon will be shared with their friends and hold accountable to finish their readings.

Magic Wand

Magic Wand is a playful feature that locates next to the search bar on the search page. Every time users click it, Magic Wand will randomly recommend one book to users. This feature aims to take users out of their comfort zones (aka their favorite genres) and provide the experience of encountering a book that interests them when browsing around a bookstore aimlessly.