A mobile app designed to keep people reading and returning books on schedule to avail rewards/refunds.
Bookify aims to make returning books easy and convenient so you can earn rewards. For students and book lovers, the app provides the opportunity to purchase books for a period of time, return them within the deadline.
The idea of Bookify surfaced when me and my friends were surfing around the internet for college books and we wanted to buy it for a period of time aka rent. As buying books from stores/online can be sometimes time-consuming and expensive. As there are some e-commerce sites that do offer purchasing options but do not offer services to rent or return after a certain period of time option. Sometimes I bought a book from one platform and had to struggle to sell or give it to a friend/ someone on other platforms. So a question popped into my mind
Why not use both services (buy/return) on the same platform with delivery tracking?
Goals & Objectives
At the start of this project, I made a list of things that I wanted to achieve for this app.
An interface that is user-friendly, easy-to-use, minimal design with a minimalist look.
Easy and efficient ways to locate books by search or author with as little effort as possible.
Easy and straightforward navigation all through the app.
Design a Logo for the app that aligns with Bookify's brand value
Nov -Dec 2021
Before starting off with the research, I outlined a detailed research plan including the main research goals, methods of research, and timeline, in order to focus on achieving the goals of the research. My intention was to gather as much data as possible in such a small amount of time.
To understand why users prefer buying online books/ebooks.
Identify the target audience.
Get to know how people are managing their book list
Learn how people discover or hear about new books
The goal is to determine how people keep track of books they’ve read, are reading, and want to read
Secondary research (Competitive analysis)
Primary Research (User Interviews/surveys)
I started my research by understanding the problem I’m trying to solve. It can be challenging to track, organize and discover books by author/name/ISBN, exchange and return books on a single platform, and is not something performed in one place, by one product. In that case, the result can be confusing, messy, and complicated.
As well, I conducted a competitive analysis of a few active products and came up with some preliminary user personas based on the information I've found.
Competitive Analysis (Secondary Research)
User Interview (Primary Research)
To empathize with a range of users, I reached out to five, all in different stages in their life. In a way to understand their perspective I asked the following:
What matters while buying a book (genre, author, quality, reviews)?
How do u search for a new book? (social media/ friends/ application(eg. amazon), other)
What do u do after u have finished reading a book? (sell/ give to friend/ store collection or other?) and why?
What is better reading an ebook(online) or an original book(offline)? And Why?
Which platforms have u used while ordering a book?/
Do u get any rewards or something if u have been a loyal customer? (loyal customers can also refer who buys frequently in months/ weeks)? if yes, how?
Which features do amazon(or any book app )users like and dislike?
2. Define & Ideate
Based on the user's goals and needs, I use the user personas to represent the key behaviors of the audience. By focusing on the most important problems, I am able to address the major needs of the most important user groups. It is both fictional and realistic.
Let’s meet Deya, a Software Developer in Mumbai.
User Journey Map
Make an online booking app easy with affordable prices for different types of users?
Make users get sellers/buyers within less time?
Save paper books that are read but not wasted?
Give customers a book on rent?
Create a way to return the book without looking for sellers?
Create a way to return books without sellers?
Create an option to buy a book for a period?
Scenario: Use the’ Book store’ app to help users to buy books & return/sell them at affordable rates easily by allowing them to buy & return/sell on the same platform.
Using the established tasks as a guide, I mapped the user flows. In this way, I can step into a user's shoes and imagine what they might encounter, and how they might respond. Here is the user flow scenario where Deya wants to "Exchange" a book order. A complete user flow can be viewed here.
After analyzing the information architecture and user flow, I began sketching low-fidelity screens. By sketching my ideas on paper, I can get them across quickly. Also, it helps me examine my ideas before putting them through the tedious process of digitizing.
Using Figma once again, I recreated the flow on the prototype so that users can easily scroll and navigate now with the brand added.
Offering affordable books for readers/learners was the primary motivation for this project's success. Despite the fact that many students and other users are learning and adapting knowledge of their respective fields, they find it hard to find low-priced books.
My solution to this problem was to add book copy options (new book/ used book) that provide more familiar choices to the user. This will also promote the reuse of books contributing to being environment-friendly.
It is often the case that students and learners who are not employed yet, have to buy new books and pay an extensive amount to buy them, and they are clueless as to what to do with the books once they have read them or find it difficult to sell or return the books by different methods.
To prevent this struggle, 'BOOKIFY' offers both services on one/the same platform with a cashback option for a set period of time.75%(as per the owner policies) refund is very impressive for users. Users will try to finish the book early and return it. This can also increase one’s reading speed as he wants to earn cashback.
Users may sometimes deal with the wrong product/ bad quality etc. based on the product delivered and may encounter issues.
If the user is not happy with the book delivered he/she can raise an exchange request within 24/48 hours along with their concerning reasons.
4. Test &
With 5 participants, I conducted an unmoderated online usability test. If these designs were to be put in the hands of some potential users as soon as possible, they could be shaped and refined to truly meet the needs and expectations of their users.
I created a high-fidelity prototype using Figma and conducted usability testing with Maze to test these designs. I created 4 tasks for the application and tracked their results.
Task 1: Login and search for a book and save/wishlist it and then add to cart and checkout and track it.
Task 2: Check your profile details.
Task 3: Check your recent orders and exchange the book.
Task 4: Return a book before its return period is over to avail 75% refund.
Usability Test - Task Completion Rate
users found the 'Bookify' app easy to use and affordable.
of participants like the feature of having the option to return the book after reading.
overall completion rate of tasks without any errors.
It was pointed out by users that the app could include more social features between friends.
For the 2nd round of usability testing, I would like to create and design more key screens. Bookify's product roadmap also needs to be reviewed to see what other features could be added to provide a unique experience. Most participants felt that the app had the potential to act as a multiservice platform. The design of those interactions would definitely be interesting to map out and test in order to build out a stronger application.
Create a well-organized project plan. A good strategy will prioritize what's needed for the MVP while keeping track of its progress.
Utilize existing patterns to reduce the workload. When users expect a common function to work as expected, designing a unique interaction for it isn't necessary.
I had a great time working on 'BOOKIFY', since it was my 1st case study and allowed me to try out some new Figma features, and narrow down my design process. I will handle updates and revisions based on the priority levels in the future. I prepared this case study for my UX course. Having such great mentors has been a wonderful experience for me. The app is not an existing one, but the research and design are based on actual user feedback. Please feel free to add your suggestions and feedback.
To be honest, I am not an avid reader like most of the users that I had the chance to work with during the design process. The thrill of diving into a new field was nerve-racking since I was uncertain if my research/findings were solid enough to justify what I was creating. Early on, I learned that it was okay to not be an expert in a certain field as long as I had a clear goal and clearly understood the user at every step of the way.