Minnie Kim
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Bhuku

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bhuku

my role

I served as the lead designer/researcher and was responsible through all phases from research to implementation. My duties included:

  • User research
  • Synthesizing research to define project goals
  • Branding and logo design
  • Visual/UI design
  • Interaction design

 

Tools used: 
Photoshop, Illustrator, Invision

timeline:
1-week sprint

overview

For one of my DesignLab capstone projects, I was tasked with creating a end-to-end mobile application. I chose to design for Bhuku, an app for book lovers that will help users track everything they own, they have read, they will read next, and also everything they have loved. Inspired by goodreads.com, Bhuku wants to give a more user-centric approach to their app, and add features and flows that make it delightful for people to use.

objectives

  • Design the Bhuku mobile app that allows users to search, browse, add, and rate books
  • Design Bhuku's logo and brand identity

research

The first step in this project was creating a research plan in order to determine primary research goals and methodologies. Due to the broad scope of the design brief, I decided to carry out 1:1 interviews to gain a deeper insight on users' motivations, needs, and any pain points that I could potentially solve through the final product. I also conducted a competitive analysis matrix to compare and contrast the features and functions competing book management apps had to stay ahead of the competition. My findings led me to a persona that allowed me to approach the problem from the typical user's perspective, and understand what they would be looking for with Bhuku.

I was able to create an application sitemap based on my competitive analysis, user research, and design brief deliverables. I decided it would be best to split up the app into four main pages: 

  • Newsfeed: Social newsfeed page of latest updates depending on who the user is following or interested in. This highlights the social aspect/book sharing method that was expressed as a desirable feature from my user interviews.
  • Library: User's book database that includes which books they are currently reading, want to read (wishlist), have previously read, as well as personally curated recommendations.
  • Discover: A dedicated page that allows the user to explore trending books, new releases, bestsellers, and more.
  • Account: User profile/settings page.

design

I spent the most amount of time working on the visual and interaction design of the Bhuku app. As this was my first full end-to-end application project, I wanted to focus on creating a well-polished final product.

I started by sketching out some wireframes and translating them into low-fidelity screens.

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I was able to receive some constructive criticism on my lo-fi prototype and make any necessary changes that would improve the user experience, such as:

  • Creating a universal search function that would work across all pages
  • Removing the 'Add Book Manually' option (as the book could just found via search results) and leaving a single barcode scanner option
    

 

 

Before moving forward with the iterations however, I took the opportunity to create Bhuku's logo and brand identity

I wanted Bhuku to appear friendly and inviting - a warm and welcoming place where readers can interact with others and share books. I thought the final logo and colour palette reflected these attributes while still looking clean and professional.

After iterating on the low-fidelity wireframes and establishing a brand identity, I created a high-fidelity prototype that would reflect how the app would function.


next steps

Creating a full end-to-end mobile application was a very eye-opening and rewarding experience. Having flexibility in the branding, user interface, and interaction design allowed me to creatively explore and problem-solve the various phases that go into multifunctional app design. Having said that, if I had more time to improve this project I would implement the following steps:

  • Work with a developer to ensure that the app will function smoothly, moving beyond just a prototype
  • Conducting usability tests to examine user flows, as well as note down any positive areas, pain points, and changes that need to be implemented