This was one of the exciting project to work on . As a UX designers the project was to add a social feature to Kindle IOS applications.
High Fidelity Prototype in Invision:
This is our design process diagram. We enter the design process by researching the original product and it competitor. Second we did user research — which consists of user surveys, interviews, user tasks and flows, and creating personas based on the user research. Third is wire-framing and prototyping — which contains low, mid and high fidelity wireframes and testing the prototype of each of them by constantly going forward and backward synthesis and making changes. The circular moment of this process means free follow into each step and making constant changes using these steps depending on the needs.
We started our design process by researching the original Kindle Product. We figured out that there is small feature to recommend a book to a friend, users have to hard tap on the book image from the kindle app, this gesture was hard to figure out, we carried out user tests on original kindle users if they knew how to recommend a book to a friend. I was surprise to see most of them did not know how to recommend a book to a friend.
So when you hard tap on the book image and click on “Recommend this book”, user have to use their iMessage or email friend by getting out of the Kindle application.
There is also a social application called good reads, where users can create group and discuss about their readings, but the link to this app can be found in settings section.
Competitive Feature Analysis
Then we started with feature analysis of Kindle competitor to find out different social features they have and how they are helping heir users. So the competitors were Ibooks, Bookmate and Scribd. We also thought of using Meetup for doing feature analysis as its most used application for connecting with people having similar interest.
Above is the table showing the feature analysis of the Kindle and its competitors. As you can see Bookmate has most social features as compare to others followed by it is Ibooks and then Kindle. So to find out if people actually prefer Bookmate over Kindle because of its social features or if people like to be social when it comes to reading a book, we conducted a survey.
User Research (Survey)
In this survey we ask people if they like to read e-books, majority of people liked to read e-books. Then which app do they use for reading the e-books — 50% people used Kindle, following it were iBooks and last was Bookmate with only 3.1% of readers. We also asked users if they like joining any kind of book club, — 54% people said no and 45% said yes.
To know why people did not like the concept of socializing when it comes to joining a book club, we conducted interviews with people who took part in our survey.
User Research (Interviews)
Our participates in the survey who liked to be contacted for an interview had shared their contact information. We got in touch with them via phone to get a better understanding of their behavior and their personality.
When we asked them about their experience while reading books, most of the people treated books as their best friends and find an emotional connection with them. Hence they found uncomfortable talking to strangers about the books they read. Few like to recommend books to close friends or like to take recommendation from friends as they have similar interests.
When we asked them if they would like to use a social platform to talk and share about what they are reading most of them were against it but few said they would like to if any of his/her friend were part of it.
After collecting a lot of data the next step was synthesizing the data. Above is the image were we have an some key data points from our survey on the left and an affinity map of our interview results on the right. We used this data to find patterns and identify how our users approach conversations about reading. We then questioned how we can fulfill the needs of the users and still satisfy the original mission of Kindle: a distraction free e-reader. But we needed to remove ourselves from the equation, get past our assumptions about users, and align our understanding about our users needs, so we created personas. We came up with two persona, John and Jenny.
John is an online reader and he likes to discuss and share what he read with his friends. He likes taking recommendation from his friends to read books. His pain point is he wants to know if others have read the same material, so he can engage in discussions. So based on John’s personality and behavior our scenario for John was-
John has a co-worker with similar reading interests and he wants to find out what he is currently reading.
Jenny is a homemaker. She is interested in joining different book clubs and likes to socialize. Her pain point is She is concerned about technology getting involved with reading books or socializing. So based on Jenny’s personality and behavior our scenario for Jenny was –
Jenny is reading her first e-book and wants to use it to connect with friends to discuss about it.
Original App Map:
We studied the original app map of kindle to figure out how can we implement a social feature into Kindle without distracting user while reading a book.
New App Map:
This is our new app map. We integrated a social feature called “Kindle Circle” in the Kindle IOS app. But keeping in mind the privacy of users while reading we created an entirely new path of Kindle Circle, as we did not want to get in the way of readers and distract them. Those who do not want to be part of Kindle Circle they can anytime go into settings and make their account private.
User testing Low Fidelity Prototype:
Based on the changes we started creating low fidelity wireframes and did a quick paper prototyping user test. This is the images of our low fidelity paper wireframes and a user test on paper prototype. Creating these allowed us for a quick transition from iteration to testing the validity of our proposed features.
Based on the data we collected while testing the low fidelity prototype we started making changes and creating a mid fidelity wireframes and prototype to conduct a user test .
User testing Mid Fidelity Prototype:
Mid Fidelity Prototype using Invision:
Here are some key screens from our Mid Fidelity wireframes & a link to our prototype, which we used for our second round of testing. The increase in detail allowed for more focused test results, giving us a greater insight to our users perspective and any potential problems.
While user testing we got a pretty good data, users said:
· The notification message was hard to see.
· I would have preferred if there was some kind of sign on homepage showing notification.
· The book reading status looks like book downloading status.
· It would have been helpful if “Create A Circle” had been part of “My Circle”.
High Fidelity Wireframes:
The user tests gave us the data we needed to create this high fidelity wireframes. Here is the link to our high fidelity prototype :
High Fidelity Prototype using Invision:
As our design process says — free follow into any steps as needed and making constant changes.
1.Test the high fidelity wireframes and collect data and make changes to the wireframes.
2.Check with developers and designers to integrated “Kindle Circle” into original Kindle App
3.If there are any issues or suggestions from them figure out a solution to it.