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User-Centered Design & Design Thinking

I began with the idea of a social app that would connect book clubs with independent bookstores to mutually benefit each other.

Book clubs increase sales for bookstores. They also assist bookstores with creating a community space where people can share ideas and a love for books.

Bookstores not only provide a central location for book clubs to meet, but they also help promote book clubs and grow their membership. In addition, bookstores can facilitate book club discussions and offer suggestions for reading selections. Bookstores can also connect book clubs with authors, so they may participate in a book club discussion in person, via telephone, or video conferencing. Bookstores often receive Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) and other swag from publishers, which they frequently pass on to book club members.

Online card sort

User Research

Beginning with separate surveys for book clubs and bookstores, I reviewed the results to discover the pain points and areas of interest for both groups. I then conducted one-on-one interviews, both in person and over the telephone, to uncover more specific information. In doing so, I discovered my initial assumptions of what book clubs wanted was much more basic than I had anticipated.

Based on this data, I focused on book clubs by crafting personas for members. Next, I developed empathy maps to better understand their wants, needs, and behavior.

By documenting user stories, I was able to determine what users needed to do with the app and why.

An online card sort allowed me to dig deeper and discover users' expectations of how a social app for book clubs should be organized for a satisfying experience.

User flows

Development & Design

Moving into the development stage, my research suggested I focus on designing an app speficically for book clubs.

I expanded my user stories into more detailed user flows by consulting my personas and their empathy maps as guides.

Wireframes gave me the opportunity to visually conceptualize my thoughts even more through sketching out a storyboard of each step in the user flows. As I drew the wireframes, it became apparent which areas worked and which areas needed to be modified.

By this point, I had cultivated a precise picture of the overall mood of the app experience with a style guide, which I was able to support with my empathy and understanding of my personas' behavior.

Digital prototype

Digital Prototype & Usability Testing

After the final iteration of my wireframes, I built a digital prototype that allowed users to complete six tasks from the user flows.

I drafted a plan to identify what I hoped to accomplish by observing participants interact with the digital prototype. Once completed, I wrote a detailed script of what participants needed know before, during, and after testing.

When I finished observing participants interact with the digital prototype, I summarized my findings in a usability test report. In a nutshell, all six particpants were able to accomplish all tasks quickly and with no frustration.