Project proposal for User Experience Design course at General Assembly.
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StoryScout is an app to help children who are reading independently choose books to read for themselves.
With an interactive map and engaging search functionality, kids will be able to browse and rate titles that are tailored to their age and preferences, and create a wish list of books that match their interests. This app hands the power of choice to the kids, who will be more satisfied with personal recommendations, and more likely to read in the future.
91% of kids ages 6-17 say, “my favorite books are the ones that I have picked out myself.” And nearly 3 in 4 kids say they would read more if they could find more books they like.
Even 66% of kids who are infrequent readers agree! And parents of boys and infrequent readers particularly have trouble finding books that their kids enjoy.
There is still a need to connect kids with the right books for them. With fewer children reading frequently for pleasure overall, and a steep drop in teens reading from middle school to high school, it is more important than ever to promote positive reading experiences that resonate with kids as they get older.
Kids do search online, and they search visually. But kids are not yet searching online for books.
Kids browse for books in person at libraries, bookstores and school book fairs, but very few digital tools are specifically geared for kids to find new books. There is a huge opportunity to create a book discovery app for kids, on devices that they already use.
After conducting user research, competitive analysis, and identifying the project's goals and personas, I began by sketching ideas and a simple flow for a discovery tool that would combine several methods of search: exploring books by genre, simple search, and fun quizzes that would generate book matches based on the user's preferences.
Kids would then be able to rate and review titles, and curate their own wish list of books that they could share via email.
This first approach was functional, but too linear. I wanted to prioritize several considerations from my research when designing a search tool for kids:
It needed to be even simpler - kids gloss over copy and go straight to large images and video. Actionable paths needed to be clear, and text-based information less cluttered.
It needed to be more gamified - kids like to build and curate customizable experiences. Unlike adults, they see functional digital tools as a form of play.
With those challenges in mind, I created an interactive map function, where kids can swipe around a world of books to explore by genre.
Kids could still navigate directly to a particular genre using a compass tool, and fun personality quizzes (with a book recommendation as the result) would be scattered throughout the map for even more opportunities for surprise and discovery:
Here's an idea of how this map of book genres might be designed:
I created user journeys for each of my primary and secondary personas:
And tested a lot of wireframes . . .
Before arriving at the final User Flow:
The resulting wireframes show the initial framework for a product that would introduce kids to more books in an engaging and interactive way. With this concept, there are many possibilities for additional gamification, interactivity and filtering search results, so that users can quickly and easily get their next favorite book.