From interviews with the users and library staff we discovered, that the libraries provide many events, which people want to attend, but fail in communicating them.
We proposed an app that will inform the user about the events they are interested, let them book a space direct in the app and reward them for exploring different themes.
Sketch, invision, axure, Optimal Sort, trello, miro
As a part of the learning process member of our team of three contributed to every aspect of the project and was working on their own version of the app, that we ended up merging together and then tested with users.
Before jumping into design we wanted to understand the current connection between the library and the users. We created a research plan with the following objectives:
Define what resources does the library provide (books/digital content/courses).
Understand how does the library communicate their services to the users.
Understand how people use the libraries’ resources to gain knowledge and skills.
Understand how people use the library and its resources in the job search process.
Identify all stakeholders’ (library staff) needs.
Each of us conducted at least one interview with their local library staff and 2 interviews with the library’s visitors. After synthesising our findings, we identified the following design opportunity:
None of the competitors provided events and courses for a local community, so there is a market gap for our product.
Having a physical event space will also serve as a space where people could meet and be guided by staff to learn new skills.
We learned that the people in Europe, as opposed to the US don’t use the libraries strictly to help them find jobs, what the brief originally stated. This is why we adjusted the project direction and focused on the library visitors to courses and events the library provides.
The visitors had different motivations, but they shared one goal: they wanted to visit the library events but had troubles tracking them on the library’s website. We mapped out the existing journey of our persona, Maria, to focus on the ways to improve it.
After synthesising all our research and defining the pain-points and opportunities of the existing user journey, we came up with the following problem statement and design principles, that will guide us towards the solution.
My task was to develop content for entrepreneurs. I created and tested a paper prototype with 3 users and then refined it. In Architecture I used to quickly sketch over my designs using transparent paper. I’m using the same technique for “brainstorming” my screens.
I placed them straight on the main page. No login required. She can also easily save them and browse from “your courses” section.
Maria can easily browse courses based on the skills she wants to develop. Once she participates in an event on a specific topic she will get experience that will let her grow.
After testing the first ideas we decided that I will continue developing the “skills section”.
Maria can book all events straight from the main screen or the skills section. She can track them on “my courses”, where she can add them to her calendar. From now on she will never miss another course.
To make her journey pleasant I created microinteractions explaining the “skills“ feature
For the course we were supposed to test one of our prototypes. Instead we analysed our screens and combined our unique features like skills and choosing a preferred library.
Each of us conducted 2 usability test sessions. The majority of participants, would use it and recommend it to a friend. They loved booking the library events and tracking their skills. Our future recommendations for the product development would be:
Implement “traditional library functionality” such as renting and returning books
Think about adding social engagement
There is no such thing as “creative brief“. At the beginning, I was afraid we will end up “standard library website”. However, through our research came up with a unique opportunity for the library and its visitors.
Asking the right questions is the key to getting good answers. At first, we asked too general questions and didn’t get the answers we needed. After iterating on them we got good answers, that led us to the final project.
The brief doesn’t always express users’ needs. Our course is oriented to the US market, where the libraries help people find jobs. Our user interviews confirmed our assumption that in Europe this role is played by the job centres. In our final product was adjusted our direction to our users.