Bookify — e-Library case study

Sugar baby Designer
13 min readJan 16, 2023
Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

Bookify Overview

Bookify is a conceptual e-library platform for people who love to read, discuss and consider books as their best friends.

Background of case study

As easy as it is to understand the meaning of reading as a learned or literate person, the term has come to have an array of different meanings, by different people. Reading is defined as the ability to interpret and decode an array of words through a cognitive process (Ayoti, 2015; Enamen, 2015). It is the complex act of dealing with communication in written or visual form (Ogwu, 2010). According to the Wikipedia Online Dictionary, reading is defined “as a complex process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning” (Haliru et al., 2015). It is an act of interpreting meaning from written words (Akande and Adeyinka, 2007; Nalusiba, 2010). Reading is a learning skill that aids all other learning activities (Nalusiba, 2010). To put it simply, reading is the activity of someone who reads. To read is to look at and understand the meaning of written words or symbols (Aina et al., 2011; Ogugua et al., 2015).

There are various reasons why people read. While some people read to acquire knowledge for self-improvement, others read for pleasure, relaxation, or entertainment and some others read to pass examinations.

People do not just wake up one morning and start to read, it is a skill that needs to be honed and a habit that needs to be intentionally developed and nurtured. There is a saying that “continuous reading brings about brain automatism”.

The effects of poor reading culture are enormous. Poor reading culture has negative effects on society and the individual. At the societal level, it creates a knowledge gap and retards development. Similarly, a society with a poor reading culture is bound to have leadership crises because of the dearth of knowledgeable leaders. At the individual level, it is safe to say that poor reading culture slows down personal development and success in life. It has killed and imprisoned a lot of people because they have refused to read warning signs or instructions. It is the reason why many students are not performing well academically in schools today (Akong, 2014). Poor reading culture equally breeds poverty. The difference between a successful person and a failure is knowledge. Overall, poor reading culture widens the gap between ignorance and knowledge in society.

As of 2017, Nigeria was rated by the World Culture Score Index as one of the countries in the world that has the lowest reading culture and for a country that has so many schools, we are way behind on the reading list. A recent survey on hours of reading per week per person by the World Culture Score Index showed that India is leading in reading culture with a score of 10.42 hours per week, followed by Thailand with 09.24 hours and China with eight hours.

The United Nations reported that one out of every four young people in developing countries cannot read (Provost, 2014). In that regard, the African continent is the most threatened because reading is not deeply rooted in the socio-cultural setup in most African countries. The African society is not a reading society, but a chatting or an oral society (Nalusiba, 2010). As an oral society, information is mostly passed by word of mouth. African people prefer conversing to reading. Besides, most African people do not see reading as a leisure activity, but as work. (Innocent Otache, POOR READING CULTURE IN NIGERIA: THE WAY FORWARD, 2020)

Problem Statement

Book lovers who have metamorphosed into young adults between the ages of 15–25 often get caught up in a lot, from trying to get into university, to being preoccupied with university work and basically just trying to find their feet after uni. For this group of people, it might be a struggle to read as often as they would like to because of their busy schedules and work activities. For some of them reading books is a way of escapism — to unplug from the world — and these activities could lead to losing the reading habit.

It is also no news that society is changing and has become more technologically advanced meaning that a large percentage of people read on their mobile phones and tablets, so you can imagine the frustration of people who want to read, but cannot find an all-encompassing platform to juggle their different genres of interest and read to their satisfaction.

Solution

To provide a reading app that caters to the different interests or book lovers (fictional, non-fictional, academic articles, mangas, etc) and to also build an active community for avid book readers and leisure book lovers who may want to be held accountable for their reading habit or just have discussions on a particular book. The main focus of the app is to create a community for bibliophiles (people who love to read and also get into the habit of reading.)

Target Audience

This app is for all users who enjoy reading or who just want to read, learn, gain knowledge, or travel to another world from books. The app will be used by all age groups, but most likely not less than 13 years old.

Objectives & Goals

The goals of this project are easy and straight to the point. What I hope to achieve at the end of this project is to:

  • Develop an understanding of who users are
  • Understand their pain points
  • Understand the problem
  • Define who the target audience is
  • Build a user-friendly application that attempts to solve the problems of my target audience

My Responsibilities

  • Visual Design
  • Problem definition
  • Industry research
  • High and low-fidelity wireframes
  • User interviews and analysis
  • Empathy map
  • User persona
  • Revenue model
  • Prototyping
  • Usability testing
  • Competitor analysis
  • SWOT analysis
  • Cost Structure
  • Journey mapping
  • Success metrics

Tools

These are the tools I used to bring this project to life

  • Figma: I used Figma to design the User Interface of the product and it was a very smooth process
  • Google Forms: I used forms to create my survey. I found it really helpful because the results were analyzed for me and it just made my work a whole lot easier.
  • Notion: I used notion for note-taking and drafting. If you read my logistics case study (QuickGo), you remember I said I had a bit of difficulty using notion. well, this time, my experience was really smooth and it is even becoming one of my favorite tools.
  • Whimsical: I used Whimsical for my low-fidelity wireframes. It just makes the wireframing process almost effortless for me.
  • WhatsApp: To an extent, it is easy to downplay the role WhatsApp made in the success of this project, but then it helped me connect with most of my questionnaire respondents, which is very crucial for the existence of this product.

Interview Questions

For this part, I really wanted to go straight to the point with the questions, so that my respondents don’t lose interest when filling out the questionnaire. This helped me understand the audience on a deeper level. These are the few questions I asked:

# What age category do you fall under?

# How often do you read?

# What is your best reading app?

# What features will you love to have in your reading app?

While analyzing the data and trying to create the empathy map, I realized that my approach of going straight to the point was not necessarily the best because I couldn’t still define some things based on the questionnaires I had sent first, so I sent another questionnaire and got a total of 53 responses. These are the questions:

#What inspires you to read?

#On what basis do you choose a particular reading app?

#On what basis do you stop using a particular reading app?

#What do you do?

#Do you easily find your preferred genres on reading apps?

#What price range will you be willing to pay for your reading apps’ monthly subscription?

Analysis

In total there were 66 respondents to the questionnaire. These are the responses gotten from the research interview carried out

These are the responses gotten from the second questionnaire carried out:

User Needs

User needs express people’s goals, values, and aspirations. They are the things people need from a product or service to do something. They help us to express and understand who our users are, and the circumstances which lead them to use a product or service. They also help us make sure the things we build help people find or complete something they need to do.

For this product, the target audience highlighted that they need the following:

  • Offline Accessibility
  • A user-friendly app
  • Audio features
  • Nigerian voice over
  • Dark mode
  • Easy user interface
  • Reminders to ready daily or weekly

Features & Functionalities

  • Community
  • Interest-based book clubs
  • Genres
  • A progress bar on current reads
  • Search bar (Based on authors, book name, and genres)
  • Library, Folders, current read(s),
  • Notes, Save
  • Share, set reminder
  • Set reading goals and streak
  • Audiobook option
  • Reading list

User Persona

Based on my research and findings, I created four different personas whose goals and pain points represent the target audience at large. Let me introduce you to Chidinma, Alexander, Kolade, and Ibiere.

Empathy map

This process was to define the target audience with more clarity, as well as illustrate their needs and actions. Empathy mapping helped me gain an understanding of their thoughts and feelings, the apps they currently use and how they feel about the features they have interacted with in other apps. The data in the empathy map is based on the responses from the questionnaires sent out. Most of the individuals that responded are individuals who enjoy reading either as avid or leisure readers and are between the ages of 15–36.

Says

  • They hate tacky ads on most reading apps
  • They want realistic audio readers
  • They want search bars that can help them find a possible book that is not on the app

Think

  • Most reading apps look the same and have no uniqueness
  • Apps should be easier to use

Does

  • On average, reads at least 3–5 times a week
  • Chooses a reading app/platform based on the volume of content to explore on the site
  • Stop using a reading app if it has too many ads and not enough genres

Feel

  • Reading apps should be able to make suggestions based on a quiz to know the user's personality and suggestions
  • They will love a text-to-speech feature

Information Architecture

This process was to help organize and structure the contents of Bookify to make navigation easier.

Wireframes

Although I made a few changes to the high-fidelity designs, the low-fi wireframes helped me visualize how the app was going to look like. During this process, I asked myself a few questions,

  • What are the major screens of this app?
  • Does it look easy to navigate?
  • What information should come first?
  • What have the competitors done in the time past?
  • What features should be present?
  • Does my structure accomplish the purpose of the page?
  • Is it clear what actions users can take?

Revenue model

Every business exists to make money, mainly to sustain the business. A revenue model is a framework for generating financial income. For Bookify, money will be made from monthly subscriptions to use its premium features.

The premium features are:

  • User’s ability to create a book club.
  • User’s ability to send private chats to friends or other people from the book club.
  • User’s ability to join unlimited book clubs

From the questionnaire sent out, 60.2% of people are willing to pay within a range starting from 800 Naira. In as much as there is a willingness to pay, the plan is not to use this fee to chase readers or potential readers away, so a fair price will be fixed for these premium features.

Competitor Analysis

This helped me understand the current state of the market and also know my position in the current market. It involved gathering all the major and most important data about the competitors- their strengths, weaknesses, market size, amount of time they have been in the market, rank, ratings, etc. Honestly, this was one of the most interesting parts of this project for me.

I actually divided this into 2 categories, the market analysis category, and the features analysis category. Based on my research, 25 different reading platforms were listed to be used, but 7 of these platforms were used by at least 2 people and I will be conducting a competitors analysis on these 7.

  • Wattpad
  • Scribd
  • Z library
  • Light reader
  • Apple books
  • Audible
  • Amazon
Features Analysis
Market Analysis

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis will help identify areas of your business that are performing well. These areas are your critical success factors and they give your business its competitive advantage. Identifying these strengths can help you make sure you maintain them so you don’t lose your competitive advantage. Queensland Government (2021, Dec 20). “SWOT Analysis” https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/planning/market-customer-research/swot-analysis

Key Resources

  • Human resources: This includes all the people that brought this project to success which includes me, interviewees, testers, etc
  • Physical resources: This includes all the physical items used in bringing this project to life; Laptop, phones, books, etc

Customer Relationship

  • Self-service
  • Mobile bot assistance
  • Customer care personnel

Cost Structure

  • Marketing and sales
  • App maintenance
  • App Development

Success Metrics

These will be used to define the success of the app:

  • Downloads: Number of new downloads in a given timeframe (daily, weekly, or monthly)
  • Retention: How long users will keep the app before uninstalling
  • Engagement: The number of active app users on a given day or month
  • Average session length & frequency: How often users are launching the app, and how long an average session lasts
  • Churn rate: Users at the start of the period — users at the end of the period/users at the start of the period

Future Requirements features

  • Users will be able to have audio discussions in clubs, something similar to Twitter spaces.
  • Users will be able to add friends and have private chats with each other

High Fidelity Screens

Learning points

This project was a really interesting one for me because It was the problem stemmed from a personal challenge I encountered, and due to research, found out that a whole lot of other people also face this challenge. During the cause of the project, I carried out an A/B test on some screens and allowed my target audience to select their preference.

I learned how important it is not to make assumptions about what my users like or do not like, I also learned that through A/B testing how some screens look and their overall functionality determine a lot of the experience you want your users to have. Carrying them along made the process rather interesting and enlightening because I got to hear from them firsthand how certain features (colors, images, positions of elements, etc) made them feel.

Prototype

Interact with the prototype through the link below

https://www.figma.com/proto/YrA15jG0bVLAJY3qceDP53/Bookify?node-id=219%3A354&scaling=scale-down&page-id=219%3A352&starting-point-node-id=421%3A2248

Enjoy!

Conclusion

If you made it this far, you are an OG and definitely a real MVP and I really appreciate you for taking the time to read this 13 minutes long case study. Your feedback will be highly appreciated so that I can get better at what I do and become favorable in the eyes of my potential employers. Thank you for your precious time.

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Sugar baby Designer

🦋 Hi, I’m Lovette, a UI/UX designer in Lagos, Nigeria. I define and design solutions for world class digital products.