Mobile App Design for local UK libraries
ClientFlatiron School student project
Team4 UX Designers
Designing a digital product for local libraries as a student project for Flatiron School UX/UI Design immersive course. As a brief, in an effort to expand the economic and social opportunities provided by digital technology to all its members, the local library desires to build a digitally inclusive community.
With library usage having fallen by 30% since 2005 and with only 18% of adults accessing the library digitally, our team was been asked to design a product that would strengthen the library’s relationship with the community it serves.
I was one of the 4 UX Designers of a team of 4 people. It as a 6 weeks project, working remotely, I was involved in the research, synthesis, ideation, prototyping and testing the design solutions with the users during all the phases of the process.
Our research story
At the beginning of the project we preconceived notions about libraries. So we started our desk research and find local libraries websites or digital products that we could get some ideas from. Unfortunately we couldn’t find much, we he had to head to libraries in person and talk to users, staff members and SME’s who provided us with some good insights for our research and identify some problems.
Which questions are we trying to answer?
➔ How we can create a digitally inclusive community through our library system?
➔ How we can direct people looking to upskill, change careers get educated?
➔ How participants trying to improve their IT literacy achieve this at the library?
➔ What features do users seek when looking for work/education?
➔ How does the library currently engage with its users and the local community?
➔ How can the libraries strengthen the relationship with its users?
We found out that…
➔ Library users tended to be older, but not exclusively
➔ Free Internet access was important, especially for the older users
➔ The library is seen as an important community hub… even if most of our participants hadn’t attended any library events
➔ Younger library users tended to favour the library as a quiet place to work
➔ A lack of information and opening hours frustrated our participants
Narrowing down our research
Defining our users
We organised all the insights of our research in an affinity diagram to help us define the user personas and problem statement.
We came up with 2 different profiles. The primary persona was a millennial who was looking for upskilling professionally and use the library as a hub. The secondary persona was a lady, a senior baby boomer, who use the library to read books with the family and attend to some IT workshops to be more tech literate.
Identifying the problem
Using the trends and insights found in our research, we outlined the problem our users were experiencing:
Young adults who lack a space to work, recreate or interact with like-minded people, need somewhere where they don’t feel isolated and can find the resources they desire, because they want to be involved with events happening in their community.
What’s the problem we want to solve?
Let’s find solutions!
We sketched some ideas we had in mind. And after several brainstorming sessions, we finally decided to prototype 4 different flows.
Possibility to access to the library catalogue, reserve books or download them. The app allows you to set reminders and notifications when you can collect you book and return it.
Create an event
Users are allowed to create any event in the library, invite guess and share it in the community feed if they want to make it open to everyone.
Book a workspace
Users are allowed to reserve a workspace in any local library through the app. During the process they can select with area of the library they want to book a space, wifi or socket availability.
Users can book 1:1 with other members of the library to improve their digital skills or offer their skills to teach others. Users are allowed to select the skills and digital buddy available through the app.
We first used Sketch to design our concepts, however, we wanted the users to fill the fields and have a more interactive prototype, so we switch to Axure.